Every year during March break, CCS brings together around 25-30 youth in Scarborough to organize a special Citizenship Ceremony, welcoming new Canadians. This youth-led Citizenship Ceremony is held in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC).
Starting in January, the youth receive training for a period of eight weeks from CCS staff and learn about financial literacy, leadership and event management, in addition to understanding the true value of citizenship.
According to CCS Program Manager Mary Sharif: “This is not only teaching youth about creating
centerpieces and making decorations. The youth are involved from beginning to end. They are the decision makers. We teach them some very important skills; how to put an event together, order food, develop budgets, organize the event and make decisions – skills they can use in the future and in their professional lives.”
According to one youth volunteer whose family moved to Canada less than a year ago, “I like to help people, contribute to society and make sure that everybody has their own rights to celebrate this ceremony.” Another youth volunteer adds: “I enjoy helping people and I do it for high school hours as well.”
The 2017 special Citizenship Ceremony on March 15, 2017 was preceded by a roundtable with the new Canadians about their journeys and what it means to be Canadian. “The sky is the limit here,” was echoed by many participants during the roundtable discussion. Over 30 new Canadians were sworn in and handed their certificates of Citizenship by the Honourable David Onley, Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor.
Calls to recruit youth to organize the March Citizenship Ceremony are sent out in December of the preceding year. Flyers are posted on our website and in local Scarborough schools.