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A Conversation
on Prevention

Cosmetic Pesticides, Tanning, Tobacco, Youth, May 31st, 2013

75 Leaders on our 75th Anniversary

We brought together 75 young leaders for our 75th Anniversary to talk cancer prevention at the Youth Leadership Forum. We believe that youth are an important part of stopping cancer before it starts by living well, being aware and getting involved in advocacy for healthy public policy. We asked some of the youth about their experiences at this inspiring event.

What was your favourite part of the youth forum?

“My favorite part of the youth forum was the opportunity to meet people from around British Columbia who share the same ideas and passions as I do. I’ve never really had the opportunity to meet such like-minded people in an environment geared towards thinking about change, and the potential we have as young adults to make it. It was amazing to hear all of the speakers who took the time to present to us and give us an opportunity to reflect upon ourselves and let us think about what we can do to help.”
Steven Brown, Delta

What inspired you most at the youth forum?

 “I felt the good vibes. The fact that it seemed like everyone had one agenda and one goal in mind, meeting and sharing ideas made it that much easier.”
Jessica  Chow, PG

“The fact that other youth were so excited and ready to join forces to improve their communities across BC. Everyone seemed committed even though we had only been working together for a day or so. “
Danielle Lawless, New Westminster

How can youth make a positive impact on their community?

“The youth forum put on by the Canadian Cancer Society has been an incredible opportunity that opened my eyes to the world around me, and made me more aware of the opportunity that exists. Opportunities don’t always present themselves when we’re not looking for them, so sometimes it takes a little push in the right direction to make a world of difference. I believe that the youth forum has done that for me.”
Steven Brown, Delta

“Youth have an interesting connection with those in their communities. They are role models for the next generation and are looked at with hope from the older generations. I think youth are also more optimistic and willing of change. We’ve also seen how social norms have changed in our parents generation (such as smoking) we’ve seen success in the reduction of that, which gives us hope and drive to change other things in our society.”
Danielle Lawless, New Westminster

What cancer prevention activity have you committed to when you return to your community?

“I am committed to raising awareness about cancer prevention in my community, and motivating others to volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society”
Taylor Smith, Kelowna

“It was pretty neat to be a part of the prevention aspect of the Society! It’s something I am definitely interested in pursuing. I am constantly amazed at the awesome work that the Society does, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to be apart of the forum. I’ve been looking into my local community’s stand on the outdoor smoking bylaw as well as the use of pesticides. Before the forum, I was aware of these initiatives, but I never really connected them to my own city. It’s a concrete issue in my head now…”
Danielle Lawless, New Westminster

“I will remain committed to educating people about the dangers of using indoor tanning beds and exposure to UV light. I will also continue to help bring cancer issues to political leaders’ attention.”
Haylee Seiter, Prince George

How did other youth feel after the Forum?

“Inspiration”, “motivation”, “empowerment”, “connection” — are just a few words that resonated on this day. To see them all, visit the Urban Thinkers blog by Arthur Orsini.


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