By, For, and With Youth: Transforming the Delivery of Training Programs

The Grove

This symposium aims to inspire youth and adult allies alike to imagine a better future for the creation and delivery of training programs in Integrated Youth Services (IYS). We would like to highlight the unique Youth Support Program (YSP) at The Grove - Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario in Wellington COunty and Guelph, Ontario. This visionary program has created both work and volunteer opportunities for youth to become leaders in their community and support their fellow peers. The training for the delivery of this program was created in response to a recognized community need and includes an ongoing collaboration with students from the University of Guelph, Ontario. In sharing this initiative created by, for and with youth, we aim to mobilize others to adopt this framework into their home organizations, as a precursor to the well-established Peer Support model.


Jemma Llewellyn
Jemma Llewellyn is a community-based arts practitioner and Post-Compulsory Education teacher from Wales, UK. She has worked in formal education settings and youth arts organizations, with children and young people from the ages of 6 to 25, including ESL students, and students with additional and complex learning needs, in China, England, Wales, and Canada. Jemma’s PhD research, practice, and scholarship focuses on addressing human rights issues by providing an artistic platform where youth voices are amplified and the practice of adult allyship is modeled through improvisation and collaborative mentoring. It is her belief that to make real social change in the world we need to address the transhistorical hierarchy paradigm between children/youth and adults, through youth-led dialogical participatory practices. Jemma is committed to the process of decolonization, anti-racism, and anti-oppression which are foundational to her personal values, projects, and partnerships.

Nida Ansari
Nida Ansari is an undergraduate co-op student from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Currently studying at the University of Guelph, she is pursuing a degree in Psychology and French. Nida completed two successful co-op work terms with The Grove -Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario as their Peer Training Coordinator, where she spearheaded the development of the Youth Support Program. Nida’s research interests currently focus on effective pedagogical practices for youth and adolescents, youth mental health, and overall leadership and engagement. Combining her love for education and psychology, Nida sees every opportunity as a meaningful learning experience, and strives to ensure that whatever she accomplishes has an impact on the community around her in some way.

Key takeaways

  • ​Based on a set of core components, the Grove acts as a "one stop shop" of Integrated Youth Services
  • Partnered with YWHO
  • It is one of the only university/IYS partnerships in Canada. The Grove is partnering with the University of Guelph!
  • Peer-to-peer is central to their model
  • The Grove hires Youth Ambassadors to amplify their projects
  • Will create/created a number of resources for online trainings and in-person components
  • "The Grove, in collaboration with their partners, created a wonderful list of resources online (co-created with youth), including important topics such as providing Allyship! Learn more:

Key Learning Objectives (defined by presenters)

  1. Participants will gain a new framework for training youth that work at Integrated Youth Services (IYS) organizations
  2. Participants will recognize the potential and positive impact of experiential/community-engaged learning opportunities
  3. Participants will identify a youth-adult partnership in action

Key Themes

  1. Youth-led partnership
  2. Allyship

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