Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value is an Albert Einstein quote that resonates with Newton Asare II.
“My goal is always to become involved in opportunities where I can make a contribution to large segments of a community,” said Asare, who is one of 34 Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games youth advisory council members unveiled last Monday in the presence of the province’s Lieutenant Governor, David Onley, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
The council, comprising 16 advisors and 18 ambassadors, will create a youth-focused project that supports the Games and also play a crucial part in planning and developing opportunities for youth and communities within the Games’ footprint. The group, whose ages range from 16 to 24, will start work immediately.
Asare, who lives in the Malvern community and volunteers with the Centre for Social Innovation, said he’s excited to be part of the council in an advisory capacity.
“It’s an opportunity for me to network with like-minded youth leaders but, more importantly, I am part of a youth group that will more than likely have a say in what happens to some of the facilities after the Games,” said the 2010 Creative Institute for Toronto’s Young (CITY) leaders graduate. “The aquatic centre is being built in the middle of the Malvern and Kingston-Galloway communities which are deemed high priority neighbourhoods.
“Would young people in these communities be able to utilize the space and are they going to be able to access jobs after the Games? That’s what I am interested in.”
The Games’ chief executive officer, Ian Troop, said inspiring and engaging the next generation of leaders is central to the vision of the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
“We want the Games to touch as many people as possible and this council will be the driving voice to ensure the Games are youth-focused and inclusive,” said Troop.
Charles Sousa, the provincial minister responsible for the Games, said young volunteers help inspire others to get involved in the Games and the community.
“The McGuinty government’s support of the ‘People Games’ is creating a legacy of increased volunteerism and community spirit while engaging the leaders of tomorrow,” he said.
Other members of the council include Funmilola Lawson, who is an ambassador. The York University student, poet and spoken word artist and Asare were in the same CITY Leaders class. CITY Leaders is a leadership development institute for youth working and volunteering in the city’s communities and the social services sector.
“I am happy to be reunited with Lola again and we are going to make a difference in this city,” Asare said.
The Toronto Pan Am Games run from July 10-26, 2015 and the Parapan Am Games will take place from August 7 to 14, 2015.
By RON FANFAIR