Sense of Belonging

To better understand what Sense of belonging meant to the youth. During our sense-making session, we asked them to tell us what it means to be connected to your community. Here is the feedback we received. 


We also asked them to share examples of times when they have felt like they didn’t belong, below is the feedback we received:

  • When their opinions are ignored.
  • When no one is listened to or paid attention to them.
  • When they were not included.
  • When they were being neglected and ignored.
  • When too much pressure is placed on youth e.g from school.
  • When people do not welcome you, especially as a new immigrant.
  • When you are not invited into spaces.



At another sense-making session, we asked the youth to say “What does community mean to them”. Below is the feedback received:
  • Canada
  • The Region of Waterloo
  • People
  • Church
  • Parties
  • School
  • Events
  • Friends

I Have Relationships Where my Competence and Skill are Recognized


Competence and skills are broad concepts that mean different things to different people. To understand what it means to be recognized for their skill, we asked our youth if they feel seen and heard for who they are, of the 17 youths at this sense-making session, only one said they feel heard, three others said they were unsure, and the others gave no response.


At another sense-making session, two of the four participants said they felt seen and heard, the others were unsure.



We asked a follow-up question when we asked the youth to share an example of a time they felt heard or seen. Below is the feedback we received: 

  • When I tell my classmates what to do, and they follow me and do what I suggested.
  • When I am respected for who I am.
  • When my parents listen to me.
  • When people listen to me when I am talking, and when I listen to them when they are talking.
  • When we are playing a game and they let me explain the game. 
  • When they include me in games like tag, freeze tag, hide and seek, and rock paper scissors.

Mental Health

To better understand the data we see regarding mental health in the Racial identity category of our Youth Impact survey, we asked our youth the question, “Does culture impact how we talk about mental health”? Here is the feedback we received:
  • Some cultures do not acknowledge
  • Mental health, It is considered a Stigma.
  • Some Mental health issues are considered forbidden in some cultures.
  • They perceive mental health as a sign of weakness.
  • People don’t understand other people’s cultures, and so judge them.
  • Exposure to a new culture can impact mental health.