First Day on the Mission

This project is supported by a grant from CIRA’s Community Investment Program. CIRA’s Community Investment Program gives back by supporting initiatives and programs that help build a better online Canada.

This post is submitted by Erum Hasan from the YWCA Girls Centre. Erum is an active member of the YWCA Girls Council, a long-time member of Hive Toronto. The accompanying illustration is done by youth facilitator and artist Lena Xu.

My name is Erum Hasan. I am a grade 12 student attending Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I. and volunteering at YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Council. I also maintain the role of Ca.pture’s youth council blogger.

I am deeply interested in promoting social equity in the technology field. The youth council will be working with Hive Toronto, a network within the Mozilla Foundation, that makes technology accessible to young people like myself. I believe in the nonprofit work they do and have benefited from using their webmaker tools.

When I first heard about the Ca.pture project and the opportunity to be on the youth council, I was filled with joy and excitement! The Ca.pture project is youth-driven, digital storytelling project that addresses cyberbullying. Working  with educators and Mozilla staff, my peers from the YWCA Toronto, together with Youth Empowering Parents (YEP) will design resources to support teens and allies in preventing, navigating, and intervening in cyberbullying.

Our first co-design workshop was on Saturday, October 22nd 2016, which took place in Mozilla’s Toronto office. One thing that struck me was seeing other teenagers volunteering. Although we were a mixed group, everyone came from a different schools and had different aspirations but share the same passion for this type of work. For most of the session we talked about defining cyberbullying. What I enjoyed most was working together and listening to all our ideas that were contributed by YEP and the YWCA girls council. Towards the end I learned more about other members’ personal goals and found that we all shared something in common. Some of the goals included meeting new people, gaining knowledge and experience as well as learning coding and  getting more opportunities to code. One of the goals of the project is to create materials that can be used in high schools to guide educators in approaching cyber-bullying with more of a youth-focused perspective.

One of the exciting activities was the icebreaker. It was an engaging activity because we got to decorate our name tags while giving both youth and facilitators  a chance to connect and ask questions about other members of the council.

I am looking forward to working with YEP. Similar to my peers on this Council I would also like to receive more opportunities to code. Our council has used Mozilla’s Thimble program in the past and I am even more excited to see this used for digital storytelling.