Adam Ross never stops working for youth
After a third person Adam Ross knew sent him an application to join the new Youth Futures Council, he realized he should seriously consider becoming a member.
The 26-year-old applied online and was pleasantly surprised when he got the call telling him he had been chosen through Engage PEI to be a part of the council, a province-wide advisory body of 12 young people (currently) ages 16-29. He applied so he could help ensure a voice for PEI youth.
“I have seen and lived the struggles of PEI youth along the way and because I work with students every day I see their struggles too,” said Ross, whose day job is director of Aquatics and Programming at the Bell Aliant Centre at UPEI. Ross is also a sessional lecturer at Holland College.
The top two issues he wants to bring up with the new council are employability for Island youth and mental health and addictions. “Good jobs bring stability and quality of life,” he said. “It’s ok when you’re a student and only looking for part time work, but once you graduate, finding a full-time gig isn’t easy.”
Addictions can be a slippery slope for young people that Ross has seen first-hand. “I haven’t had those issues, but I see a lot of people in this next generation struggling to make sure they have the basic needs.”
The Youth Futures Council will give nonpartisan recommendations and guidance to the premier and ministers of provincial government on enhancing services, policies, strategies and resources for youth. It’s something Ross says young Islanders should be paying close attention to.
“This is the generation that will inherit the province and the next set of leaders, so these issues need to be vocalized,” Adam Ross said. “We can help in shaping policies going forward.”
He’s impressed that the council’s membership represents the many cultures and communities across the Island and looks forward to joining. “It’s such a diverse group, Ross said. “There should be some lively conversation and debate.”
The Youth Futures Council will host the first-ever YDAY, a unique one-day event, on October 21 for young people aged 16 to 34 to discuss their expectations for the labour market and youth opportunities in the province.