Shaping Saskatchewan: Sophia Young

Making your voice heard at a young age can sometimes be a challenge or can take time to achieve.

For one Regina teenager, all youth have the potential to develop their strengths and can become a leader within their community. Following her passions in life is what pushed Grade 12 student Sophia Young to get involved in activism in the city.

Whether it’s environmental activism or advocating for better youth transit in Regina, Young says she became an activist at a young age because she was inspired by countless unsung heroes within the community.

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She wants to motivate other youth to develop their strengths and to take initiative – like how she became influenced at a young age.

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“I see so many people with big, strong talents and passions they want to continue to explore, develop and share with others. But sometimes there are those barriers, those boundaries that stop people,” said Young during her interview with Global News.

“I wanted to be a part of helping everyone to show the skills that they have because, you know, we all deserve it and we deserve to have a chance. No child should be left behind.”

Young, a student at Regina’s Miller Comprehensive High School, says she found nature and the environment to be one of the main things she cared about when she was younger.

When she began her work in local activism, she got involved with trying to improve transit for youth in the city and with the City of Regina’s Energy and Sustainability Framework.

From there, she was a member of the community advisory group that helped support the development of the framework, particularly focused on advocating for better public and active transportation.

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Her work did not stop there as she eventually helped contribute to the Regina Transit Masterplan, which saw the acceleration of fare-free transit for youth 13 and under within the strategy.

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“Nature has been the only thing I’ve ever had. I’ve faced a lot of issues as a kid: issues at school, issues at home. The one place that I was safe was when I was outside and in nature’s arms and having a safe place was so important to me because that was something that wasn’t a guarantee,” Young explained.

“When you have something like that and you find that it’s in jeopardy because we’re not putting money or effort to fund and support it, it’s something that sparks a light inside of you and you want to keep going forward to make sure that it’s protected. That was my spark.”

She hopes to see other youth find their spark and become young leaders in the city.

“There’s a lot of people who are going to tell you you can’t do things, whether it’s because of your age, your colour, your ability, and you have to forget about all of them and just remember who you are, who you stand for, and what you can do. You have to take that initiative, get involved, bring other people along and work together so that you can build up the community.”

&© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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