Photo: DSF Toronto builds youth support through City Mosaic

By Winnie Hwo, Climate Change Campaigner

Do you wonder who these young people are and what they are looking for? The answer is they were part of the more than 400 City Mosaic participants who came to our Toronto office last month looking for clues.

For the first time, the David Suzuki Foundation joined Across UHub, a well-established youth group in the GTA, to host a mandatory checkpoint for their popular annual event, City Mosaic. AUH started City Mosiac in 2005. The one-day event is modelled after the hit TV reality show The Amazing Race, in which participants must meet all the challenges from pre-determined checkpoints.

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On May 26, 400-plus youth leaders who signed up for City Mosaic came to our Toronto office to find the 10 clues DSF staff hid around the office. Among the easiest clues: Where is the Rouge National Park? Name two renewable energy sources. What is the name of David Suzuki's TV show?

The one-day event not only helped youth participants learn about the Foundation's work and the importance of being connected to nature, it also helped forge a strong tie and friendship between AUH and the DSF.

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Special thanks to AUH director Stanley So and executive director Nicol Wong, who welcomed DSF with open arms from day one; AUH staff Joseph Wong and Melody Ho, who were key to our success as first-time checkpoint host; DSF volunteer Rachelle Boutilier, who shared her energy and enthusiasm throughout the day with staff and youth participants; DSF's Ontario Science Projects Manager Kiruthiha Kulendiren, who finalized the 10 challenges; and DSF operations coordinator Amy Hu for everything!

At the end of the day, the wonderful and uplifting experience was appropriately summed up by DSF's Director General for Ontario and the North, Faisal Moola, in his inspiring speech for City Mosaic's Opening Ceremony at the Scarborough Civic Centre.

"The City Mosaic event was a fantastic opportunity for young people from the suburbs to get to know downtown Toronto better through a mad-dash day spent travelleing around the city. But what I found most inspiring was that the particiants got around using sustainable modes of transporation, such as public transit, walking, running and cycling — producing little or none of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. My hope is that these young people will continue to integrate public transit and active modes of getting around, like walking and cycling, into their daily lives to get to and from shops, school, and work."

June 18, 2012

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