The Students Commission SC Who We Are

The Students Commission of Canada Statement of Purpose

Purpose: The SCC is a charitable organization purposefully working with other organizations to help create a world where young people are valued, heard and their ideas for improving themselves, the lives of their peers and communities are put into action.

Our desired outcome: A world where all young people transition positively into a successful adulthood.

Our Four Pillars: Respect, Listen, Understand, Communicate™

Respect: We start with respect for the gift and strength that each person carries within: for young people, their idealism and their capacity to improve the world.

Listen: With respect as our foundation, we learn to listen. We listen not just with our ears, but with our heads, hearts and all of our senses. We listen actively, intensely, not just to words, but to silences, to deeds, to experiences.

Understand: To understand is to go beyond listening, to process what we have heard from others, to reflect upon the new knowledge and gifts given to us.

Communicate: The beginning of action, this is when the obstacles fall away. We create plans with others and implement them to make a positive difference in our world.

Our Strategic Priorities

Our focus is to stay small, incubate ideas directly with youth, and work in partnership in all projects with youth and other organizations. We focus on being a node in the web of Canadian organizations and institutions that promotes the exchange of knowledge and expertise among youth and organizations to promote all youth thriving in a healthy Canada.

Turn Knowledge into Action and Action into Knowledge

  1. Capture knowledge and tell stories about what’s working and not working for Canadian youth.
  2. Increase and share the evidence-base for decision-making related to effective youth programming and development.
  3. Young people generate and use evidence to take action on issues that matter to them.

Strengthen the Network

  1. Champion youth-led initiatives, provide and advance youth opportunities to network with each other.
  2. Work with others shape a positive future for all young Canadians.
  3. Build capacity, connections and understanding among youth and organizations.

Strengthen our function as a Node in the Youth Well-Being Network

  1. Continue to reflect upon, refine and execute our specific skill sets to contribute to the network purpose.
  2. Continue to strengthen and diversify our funding sources to sustain our activities over longer periods of time without financial pressures.
  3. Continue to hire young people and support our staff, volunteers with professional development.

Our Culture

  1. We incubate and innovate with youth and, because we do, we generate sparks for positive change.
  2. We work in youth-adult partnerships and, because we do, young people’s voices are influential in improving their lives and the lives of their peers.
  3. We work with partners and, because we do, we are inclusive and supportive, building community and strengthening a network of partners dedicated to youth thriving.
  4. We turn knowledge into action, and action into knowledge and, because we do, we are constantly learning and improving our process, as well as those of others.
  5. We work with vision and passion and strive to integrate head, heart, feet and spirit in all that we do.

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Our Work

The Students Commission is NOT a government agency. We use the word "Commission" in the sense of empowerment: adults who trust and share power with youth to take action and work with them as equals.

Our Origin Story

The Students Commission grew out of a national magazine, founded by youth for youth in 1940. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Teen Generation or TG, was written by youth for youth and distributed in all high schools in Canada, supported by professional adult allies. The magazine was invited to report on a national youth conference at Humber College in 1991. The conference demonstrated the power of partnership between youth and adults. Young people generated 270 recommendations for action to improve the lives of young people in Canada. The final recommendation "commissioned" an organization for "students" to implement the recommendations. That is who the Students Commission was born: on the recommendation of young people from coast to coast to coast. The recommendations from the conference were presented to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on Canada Day 1991. The Students Commission was incorporated as an organization in 1992. In the year 2000, The Students Commission became the lead of The Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement, which networks academics, youth organizations and young people together to provide research and training to improve youth programs and youth engagement in Canada.

The Students Commission