Let’s get the conversation started…

Picture of Susan McIssac, President and CEO, United Way TorontoEach day, United Way works with individuals and organizations across Toronto to build a better city for us all. It’s something we’re deeply committed to and passionate about. But even as we work it’s good to take a step back and reflect from time to time — to think about the kind of city we’re working to create.

And it’s in this spirit that United Way is trying something new, something we haven’t done before, but something we believe is important. We are engaging people across our city in a conversation about the Toronto they want. Working together we want to make our city not only a good city, but a great city.

We’re motivated by a desire to see a city where every single person is reaching their full potential. Where families are thriving and where young people are succeeding. And we imagine this city to be a place where all neighbourhoods are vibrant, strong and resilient.

But it is not enough for us to just imagine a city, we need to work together to build it. As events this summer remind us there is still more to be done. Our youth need a city where they can grow and prosper — a place where they have access to mentorship, employment supports and resources to complete their education. And we need each and every one of you involved to make this a reality.

During the month of September, I’d like to invite you to join me and other guest bloggers in this dialogue about youth and the challenges and opportunities they face. We’ve also asked youth service providers, and more importantly, young people themselves to offer their thoughts and insights.

Over the next few months we’ll ask you questions such as: How do we build healthy people and strong communities? How do we help kids be all they can be? And how do we move people from poverty to possibility? I hope you’ll join us and share your ideas through our comment’s section, Twitter, and Facebook.

Thank you for being part of what I hope will be a valuable conversation about the Toronto you want to see.

9 thoughts on “Let’s get the conversation started…

  1. I love Toronto. I also love that it has amazing potential to grow and become even greater than it already is!

  2. What a wonderful topic for us to share about… Allow me to put in my contribution and I hope this reaches your heart as it is something that has come to you from mine. Think about this, from my observations and experience the youth of today need three kinds of support to prepare them for being responsible, productive and committed citizens.

    Those 3 things are: 1 greater personal awareness, 2 smart empowerment training and 3 focused leadership coaching. First things first, it must be made clear that there is no entitlement when it comes to success and our youth have to be made to understand and appreciate this fact. Next, we must be very clear as educators and leaders that we can and should only have to work with the people who are willing to do what it takes to get the tasks (jobs) done that have been agreed to.

    Anyone else is disqualified until they are ready to step up and be counted as someone who wants to make a difference. Lastly, those who do step up and qualify their selves they must be given full access to the resources, support systems and financial commitment they need to make the difference and contribution they are striving for.

    After that, they and we must enter into the MMAP (My Massive Action Plan) goal setting and achieving system as a means of moving things forward and to be able to following up.

  3. If Canada is two solitudes, Toronto is about 120. There needs to be something to bridge the gaps between all the linguistic and religious groups who are splintered into their solitudes.

  4. I agree that as citizens of this great city we all need to work together to help our young people unlock their potential. And I also support the notion of taking the feedback from imagining a city, to creating a city that is inclusive, vibrant and safe for all. I look foreward to seeing what the United Way will do in the coming years with the feedback received from this engaging Imagine a City Campaign!

  5. I’ve heard that it takes a community to raise children and as a mother of two I understand this saying. Accepting help and giving help are part of my life now… In my community.

  6. I imagine our city to be a place where there are a variety of supports available to assist youth, as well as youth in conflict with the law in obtaining employment, education, training and mentorship. A city where our elders are volunteering their time to help mentor youth and assist in opening up doors for youth to build their confidence and have opportunities to achieve their ultimate dreams.

  7. I imagine a city where there are endless possibilities for our youth to succeed – creating a brighter future for tomorrow.

  8. I imagine our city to be a place where safety and security is of no concern where one is each other’s keeper and all the energetic men and woman are doing something productive to make their lives better.

  9. What I imagine for our city is a place where every child can gain access to the services and supports they need in order to grow up and become successful adults. If we give every kid, no matter their background or economic status, a chance to achieve, then our city will also grow stronger and better as a result.

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