November 27, 2013: First gathering of Young Women, Young Leaders Published in 2013 Thirty-five young women aged 15 to 25 years-old came together on November 13, 2013 as part of the first gathering of the Young Women, Young Leaders (YWYL) project. Young women from four Montreal youth/community centres who are participating in this new project had an opportunity to get to know each other, explore commonalities, celebrate differences and think about how they can be leaders for change in their communities. It was also a chance for the young women to meet mentors who will be coaching the groups as they develop Actions for Change over the next year. The seven women mentors, all actively involved in their communities shared their experiences on participation and working for social change. Andréanne Paquet, formely of Ensemble, told the gathering, “For me, being engaged is a responsibility and also an honor to be part of a community. Giving to others makes one rich; rich in happiness, joy and the satisfaction of being useful and participating in the well being of others. “ The goal of the In Young Women, Young Leaders (YWYL) project is to strengthen young women’s full participation in civic, political and community life. In the coming months the participants will be participating in skills building workshops to build confidence and leadership skills. Each group, from four community centers across Montreal will also lead an Action for Change that will address issues that most affect them in their daily lives. They will also benefit from regular coaching from the Equitas team and women leaders. The project will conclude with a Young Women’s Forum in December 2014 which will be an opportunity for all to share their Action for Change projects and their ideas for change. Thank you to our partner organizations: Maison d’Haiti, Dawson Community Center, Centre Jeunesse Emploi-Côte-des-Neiges and the Montreal YWCA Équipe RDP. Thank you as well to the team at the Dawson Community Center for hosting the first of these gatherings. This project is funded by Status of Women Canada and The Telus Montreal Community Board.