The Youth Stars Foundation organized a youth civic participation workshop last Saturday afternoon at Pierrefonds city hall featuring guest speaker, city councillor Benoit Langevin.
The workshop is part of a series of forums offered throughout the West Island. Langevin, co-founder of AJOI and a key community figure in the area, shared his expertise in volunteer work with the attendees. Langevin serves as a point person for youth who want to be active in their community. He delivered a powerful message to the young attendees. “Volunteering fulfills you more than money and the feeling of being useful is more important than what you own materially.” Langevin explained to The Suburban that his goal is to teach the young how to develop professional skills, a sense of community and the capacity to develop new skills, which will essentially serve as their stepping stones to the professional world.
Founder and Director of Youth Stars foundation Malik Shaheen told The Suburban that the foundation’s mission is to teach children and youth aged four-17 how to develop leadership and professional skills such as financial literacy, public speaking and to provide them with guidance on community participation. “We are aiming to fill the void of interpersonal skills, social skills and leadership skills of this generation to help them become functional members of society. We want to get them out of the house and outside of the realm of TV, computers and phones.” Shaheen explains. According to Shaheen, learning how to build a network is a valuable part of this process. Shaheen said “Volunteering is just as valuable as getting paid to prove yourself.”