Canada is blessed to have a long legacy of dreamers, activists, and leaders who sought to improve the world and keep this country’s promise to leave future generations a Canada that makes us all proud. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to contribute a small part in this important work in my time as Advisor for Media Relations and Outreach for the Young Diplomats of Canada. I had the unique opportunity to be surrounded with outstanding young Canadians who shared a positive vision for what role Canada could play in the world and how Canadian youth could contribute to its success.
My work allowed me to develop many important skills, but it also made me aware of a crucial challenge. In an increasingly competitive, interconnected, and globalized world, we can no longer afford to leave marginalized youth on the sidelines. Indeed, our country is as vast and diverse as the perspectives of its young people, and YDC is committed to tapping into this boundless source of strength to form Canada's next diplomats. That is why our team focused on finding new ways to include more women, Indigenous, and marginalized voices into the program and into Canadian diplomacy. In doing so, we ensure not only that the program reflects the hopes and dreams of the next generation of leaders, but that it also empowers groups who are not represented enough in the diplomatic corps to share their unique perspectives.
The importance of including youth in politics and diplomacy cannot be understated and it is a lesson that remains with me to this very day. In fact, my experience with YDC has benefitted me in my present role as Communications Specialist for MP Peter Schiefke, who also serves at the Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau for Youth. Akin to my experience at YDC, I realized that we still had work to do in order to ensure that we provide young people in communities big and small across the country with opportunities to share their ideas, contribute to policymaking, and give back to our country. With that in mind, I have the honour to work hard every day to serve Canadians and help reach out to marginalized youth in order to make sure that their voices are heard at the highest levels of government. This approach has already yielded significant results and, after more than three years of hard work, we know clearly that when Canadian youth is empowered to stand up and speak out, we all benefit.
Whether in politics, in diplomacy, or in society, the fate of our country is inexorably linked to the active engagement of young people from all walks of life. Despite the important strides that have been made in recent years, there remains a lot of work to be done. Even so, I have never been so confident that we are on the right track thanks to organizations like YDC who strive to create opportunities for marginalized youth from coast, to coast, to coast. After working for the Young Diplomats of Canada and on Parliament Hill, I firmly believe that we will not be able to progress cohesively as a country if we do not ensure that everyone across the country has a seat at the decision-making table — for that is the only way through which we can live up, once more, to the promise of our country.
Written by Raphaël Beauchamp
Edited by Nicolette Addesa