youth odena

Volunteer Graphic Design, Communications and Events Coordinator
About Youth Odena

Since 2016, Youth Odena has been a leading by-youth-for-youth advocacy group in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Our work concentrates on the health, arts, and culture sectors of the Sault as we work towards improving the socio-economic status of young people in the area.

The word "Odena" translates from Anishinaabemowin to “place of many hearts.” Part of our mission is to see to the creation of a youth-dedicated inclusive space. Until then, we use various spaces to host multi-functional gatherings to achieve meaningful engagement. Our spaces are inclusive and judgment-free zones for all young people. Youth Odena is where the hearts of young people come to meet.

My volunteer job was to create promotional materials, maintain social media channels, create and maintain campaign websites, create and implement Snapchat filters, arrange professional printing for promotional materials, and photograph and record events. My goal was to spread awareness of YO and our causes.

I joined Youth Odena (YO) shortly after it was created. As a born and raised Saultite, I connected with their mission to create safe spaces for local youth. While I didn't have a background in social work like many of my peers in the group, I offered my skills to help get their message out to the community. 

While with YO, I used my writing, photography and graphic design skills to create a wide variety of communications materials. Beyond my communications efforts, I assisted with organizing and documenting events. I was also the project lead for the hit event Sault Ste. Marie's Community Box Fort for the 2017 Kids Fringe Festival.

Sault Ste. Marie community box fort

This project was to create a large box fort for visitors to explore and paint made from donated materials. The project goal was to market Youth Odena by creating a symbol of our mission by bringing together our community to build a youth-dedicated space.

To make the project a success I completed many tasks, including but not limited to the following:

  • Writing donation solicitation letters

  • Arranging cardboard box pick-ups

  • Preparing marketing materials

  • Conducting social media marketing

  • Creating a webpage for the project

  • Organizing volunteers

  • Coordinating with local media outlets for interviews

  • Assisting fort visitors with acquiring paints and answering inquiries

  • Disassembling the box fort and folding boxes for recycling

  • Mailing thank you letters to our donors

This project garnered local media coverage for YO, including a retweet of the article by our mayor.

SSM Largest Community Box Fort 3SSM Largest Community Box Fort 4SSM Largest Community Box Fort 5SSM Largest Community Box Fort 6SSM Largest Community Box Fort 7SSM Largest Community Box Fort 8SSM Largest Community Box Fort 9SSM Largest Community Box Fort 10SSM Largest Community Box Fort 11

SSMART Innovation Awards 2017

Youth Odena was awarded this honour for our Summer of Growth campaign and the website and social media platform I developed and maintained for the campaign.

While the website is now disabled you can watch InnovationSSM's video showcasing the 2017 winners here. I speak about the project at the 12-minute mark.

"The SSMARt Innovation Awards honours companies and influential individuals for their innovative contributions to the science and technology sectors within the Algoma Region and for their use of science and technology in innovative ways, making a positive economic, cultural, or social impact within the community.

This award acknowledges an individual, organization or collective who has demonstrated leadership and innovation that has had a significant social, cultural or environmental impact in their community. The social innovator of the year will have used science and/or technology and/or agriculture (which may include software, digital applications, equipment, products, social media etc.) as a catalyst for positive change. This can be in the form of entrepreneurship and/or community initiatives and covers both non-profit and for-profit sectors.

Social entrepreneurship is defined as the use of the techniques by start-up companies and other entrepreneurs or innovators to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues." - InnovationSSM