Y2A Connect: Empowering Young Minds 2023

In a world brimming with opportunities and challenges, empowering young individuals to navigate the journey from youth to adulthood becomes a crucial endeavour.

Y2A Connect: Empowering Young Minds! A Day of Transformation


What can we say besides absolutely brilliant? A day of fun and laughter, inspiration, motivation and learning. Check out what we got up to on the 29th of August, 2023.
Setting the stage for EMPOWERMENT:
The day started off with an opening address from our Founder, Darryl, covering what we do here at Y2A and the direction we aim to head in. Our Mission? To empower young minds on their journey from youth to adulthood, fostering personal and professional development, inspiring growth, and building confident leaders within our community.
We dove straight into a day filled with a powerful Keynote from Ife Obasa, who took empowerment to a whole new level, interactive and engaging workshops, creative activities sparking collaboration, and an insightful panel discussion featuring some amazing young leaders in their respective areas.
Empowerment BEYOND Limits:
The event took flight with a powerful keynote from Ife Obasa, who elevated the concept of empowerment to new heights. As the audience hung onto her every word, Ife’s message struck home
What you have many can have it, but who you are no one can be it!
A bold statement shared by Ife during her Keynote opened our eyes and challenged us to embrace rejection as redirection—a chance to adapt and explore new avenues. Ife shared with us her story through A-Levels and how it shaped her into who she is today. Expecting to come out with the grades needed to go to her first choice university only to open her results on results day to be faced with an AABB and swiftly followed with a rejection letter from the university she had planned to spend the following few years studying at, she finally came to terms with what it meant to be rejected. But did this stop her?
Of course not. Yes, she had to deal with the overwhelming feelings that ran through her head but this was an opportunity for her to embrace change, readapt and pursue another avenue and that’s exactly what she did. As you grow and transition don’t let rejection be something that stops you from finding your purpose and building solid foundations for a successful future. Ife shared with us two things to take away.
  1. Rejection is a refiner, preparing you for the best
    • As daunting, hurtful, and disappointing rejection might be, NEVER take it as a sign for you to give up. Continue to push forward, seek feedback, work on improving yourself, adapt your approach, embrace change and find an alternative plan.
  2. View rejection as a form of protection
    •  Sometimes what we think is a great opportunity, great university, or great job role might not be one that’s great for YOU. Rejection forces us to re-evaluate and look at our options. Rejection closes one door but opens another that might be better suited for you, might be a push in a better direction opening you up to amazing opportunities.

A thought-provoking question lingered: How can we program our minds to be receptive to the idea of change and growth?

Redefining Impossibility:
After such an inspiring and powerful message, it was only right to have our minds wowed by Josh’s Redefining Impossibility speech and demonstration. Josh is an aspiring Humanitarian Engineer with a strong passion for empowering young people through STEM. As a changemaker, Josh continues to drive his message home after his recent trip to Ghana for his organisation’s event, The Young Engineers Summit, he’s truly an embodiment of brilliance.
He took us on his journey and highlighted his experiences teaching us that finding our purpose and redefining who we are, redefining what we think is impossible is something we’re bound to experience on this journey as we continue to learn things about ourselves, about what we like and dislike and so many other things. The demonstration presented even blew our minds. With only 6 sheets of A4 paper, Josh allowed us to witness what it means to redefine impossibility and how, by a simple but purposeful change we can go from not being able to support the heavy weight life will throw at us to being able to stand strong in our pursuits and confidently hold ourselves up regardless of what might be weighing us down. Be sure to check out our social media channels to see his demonstration presented live.
So after being empowered, and taught that rejection is redirection and to embrace change by Ife, Josh came and blew us all away with his encouragement of redefining impossibility but it didn’t stop there. With Jade’s striking mantra,
The day got better and better.
Jade shared with everyone what it means to truly begin to believe in yourself and the doors this can open for you both personally and professionally. ‘But as soon as I started to believe in myself, little by little I started to meet new people who were my peers who saw the light in me and that’s when I knew I could be anything I put my mind to’ On a journey with so many twists and turns, unexpected challenges and blindsiding the one thing we can do, and do greatly, is believe in ourselves and be meaningful in what we do with the time that we have. Surround yourself with good people who uplift you and push you to embrace yourself and your aspirations but most importantly those who encourage you to believe in your capability, who see your light shine even in darker times.
Jade’s mantra echoed: Believing in ourselves is the key to impactful living. We invite you to think deeply about the Mantra ‘I WILL. I CAN. I AM.’ Follow us on Instagram and let us know in the comments what yours is. We’re excited to hear from you.
Empowered. Inspired. Uplifted.
Panel Discussion: Navigating Adulthood
But there is more, to follow on from such an amazing morning was going to be a challenging task but the panellists and facilitators we had in store were more than ready to carry the torch and boy did they carry it high and far. To kick off after lunch we played a game called Two Truths and a Lie to introduce our Panellists. It was a moment filled to the brim with laughter, jokes and just pure enjoyment.
The panel, titled Navigating Adulthood, was facilitated by none other than our Founder, Darryl who kicked off the discussion with the question ‘How can young individuals take ownership of their choices and actions as they transition into adulthood?’ The panel took off and before we knew it discussion was flowing from all different directions including some amazing audience participation. Y2A could not be any prouder of our speakers during this panel session, they truly delved into what it means to navigate adulthood and gave their honest perspectives which is something we strongly value.
Everyone has their ups and downs regardless of how well you’re doing in life and it’s important that as we move through this maze, we don’t fear taking the wrong turn instead we encourage you to learn from it, adapt ourselves and embrace the change, for you never know whats waiting for you behind the next corner.
Our panel covered taking ownership of your actions, accountability and the role it plays in growth and development, and the importance of making and keeping your health and well-being a priority for yourself. Jade shared with us that sometimes as young people we often strive to do as much as we can, to keep busy, stay engaged and not miss up on an opportunity but the point she drove home was that we need to look after ourselves and realise that we’re not Superman. we need to understand what our capacity is and look after our health and this includes taking personal time to fully rest and recover from the hard work we already do. This message was echoed and supported 100% by the rest of the panel and it just goes to show that they understand, they’ve been where you might be today and have come to realise what’s important, what should be a priority and what will help you become a better person and stronger leader tomorrow.
A very big thank you to Melvin Riley, Jade Barnett, Erykah Asia, Andre Russell and Ife Obasa for sharing their honest perspectives and insights to navigating the life ahead of us. We strongly look forward to continuing to work with them to help support you, young people, as you move onward and upward in your pursuits. And another big thank you to our Founder for facilitating such a great discussion.
Workshops that Transform:
Two amazing workshops facilitated by Erykah Asia and Heavenleigh Kashta followed the Panel Discussion and left us with so much to think about and reconsider. Heavenleigh ran her workshop titled ‘Everything is Attainable’ focusing on personal development.
A strong focus on having a strong mindset and FIRM goals in order to progress yourself, and allow you to be the right kind of person to achieve your goals. She left us all wanting to take a page out of her book on how we can do better in our personal lives and we behind the scenes here at Y2A will for sure be implementing this into our daily lives. The engagement and participation were unparalleled and we couldn’t have picked anyone more suited to deliver ‘Everything is Attainable’.
Erykah strongly followed Heavenleigh with a Workshop on HealthY Self-Relationship and the 4 foundation pillars we should seek to refine to ensure we’re happy with who we are as people and hold ourselves accountable for our most core values. The 4 Pillars we dove into were;
  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Compassion
  3. Self-Respect
  4. Self-Accountability
As young people, this is the time, now, to start building a strong and stable foundation that will ultimately set you up for a strong future. A future where you’re aware of who you are physically, emotionally and mentally. A future where you are proud of who you are, comfortable and loving in your own skin. A future where you respect yourself and stand firmly with the boundaries you’ve set. A future where you hold yourself responsible and continuously learn from your mistakes, challenges and opportunities.
A Heartfelt Thank You:
We’re so grateful and thankful for all the speakers and facilitators who took the time to provide young people with a day of exploration, learning and growth. It was an honour to us to have them be part of such an amazing event and we greatly look forward to working with them all again very soon. For those who attended, we hope you found the day as amazing as we did. For those who, unfortunately, couldn’t make it we hope to see you at the next Y2A Connect Event to receive your inspiration.
Stay Connected:
The journey doesn’t end here! Connect with us on social media and let’s keep the momentum going. Follow us at @Y2AGroup on Instagram, @Y2AGroup on Twitter, and Youthhood 2 Adulthood on Facebook. And if you’re as passionate as we are about making a difference, register your interest at www.y2a.group. Together, we’re shaping a future that’s brighter, bolder, and better for all.
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