Youth engagement matters in a healthy democracy because the repercussions from decisions made today are theirs to live with and resolve; because youth perspective is valuable and improves decisions; and because democratic engagement is a habit best formed early.
One of AMO’s priorities is to encourage more young people to get involved in municipal government and run for municipal council.
AMO Youth Fellowship Program
A centerpiece of AMO’s approach to youth engagement is AMO’s Youth Fellowship Program. This work-integrated learning opportunity provides three young people from across Ontario who are interested in municipal politics, with an opportunity to connect with Ontario’s most influential municipal advocacy organization.
Participants will engage with AMO’s governing Board of Directors, receive mentorship from an AMO Board member, have firsthand insight into the critical municipal issues of the day and the policy development process that supports Ontario’s municipalities. AMO Youth Fellows will also have front row seats as AMO engages important advocacy mechanisms and approaches in supporting their membership.
The 2024 Youth Fellows application period is now open. A Youth Fellowship program information session is being offered on Tuesday, October 24 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. The deadline for applications is Monday, November 14 at 10 p.m. Please find all the information you need to apply on this information sheet.
Youth-focused Resources, Articles and Organizations:
The following list includes a variety of organizations, programs, and thought-provoking articles and research related to youth engagement, civic readiness, and participation in local municipal decision-making.
- CIVIX: Strengthening democracy through civic education
- Daughters of the Vote from Equal Voice
- Apathy is Boring—a non-partisan, charitable organization that supports and educates youth to be active and contributing citizens in Canada’s democracy
- Future Majority is activating young Canadians to drive political change
- On Canada project—A Grassroots Initiative turned Social Enterprise focused on mobilizing Millennials and Gen Z
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Youth Council toolkit
- Rutgers Teach a Girl to Lead program
- Urban Minds—engaging youth in city building
- CCDI’s See Different program
- Propel Initiative—experiential learning for university students
- Ontario Undergraduate Student Association—Students in their Habitats
- Forum for Young Canadians
- The guide, Pass the Mic: Let's Talk About Racism, is designed for students in grades 5-8 and is available on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights website for download.
Youth-focused research and articles:
- Learning Loss as Civic Loss and is focused on youth civic engagement and education. It’s an easy read full of resources.
- Abacus research: Understanding Youth and Child Civic Engagement In Canada
- Walrus article: Why the voting age needs to be lowered to 16
- Public Policy Forum: Far and Widening: The Rise of Polarization in Canada
- Institute for Citizens & Scholars: Mapping Civic Measurement: How are we assessing readiness and opportunities for an engaged citizenry?
- Tufts Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement: CIRCLE Growing Voters