Adapted from the Youth Policy Action Center

 1) PICK AN ISSUE. Maybe you will realize that if you don’t take a stand, no one will. Be sure you are clear on WHAT you want to change.

2) STUDY UP. Even though studying is not everyone’s idea of a fun time, putting in a little time to really understand an issue and WHY it matters, is important. You want to be able to convince your friends, adults and elected officials that what you say matters.

3) FIND ALLIES. You don’t have to run a campaign by yourself. Chances are there are others who are interested in the same issue – and want to help. Find them.

4) DEVELOP A STRATEGY. While most of us experience the world broadly (we like or don’t like our school, we do or don’t feel safe in our neighbourhoods), simply saying we want to improve the schools or our neighbourhoods is not enough to get an elected official to do what we want. FOCUS on what specifically you would like elected officials to do. And, FOCUS on the right officials for your cause.

5) LAUNCH A CAMPAIGN. Send messages. Public officials keep track of how many messages they receive on specific topics. WRITE, CALL and USE THE MEDIA.



Movie event

Posted: October 29, 2013 by jtraann in Uncategorized
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We would like to invite everyone to our FREE movie night next Friday on November 1st. We will be watching Freedom Writers, a true story about tolerance, bullying and prejudice. If you are interested, please stop by. There will also be FREE snacks and a raffle at the end. If you are still hesitant, you can watch the trailer here. (Movie is PG 13)

Once again it is the time for colourful cultural booths, aromatic foods, traditional music, dance, and other performances. This is our second year at Taste of Cultures, and we were once again caught up in the excitement of this event. It was truly an unforgettable event, such that we were able to experience so many different cultures within such a small time span.

We would like to personally thank everyone who stopped by our booth. We would also like to thank individuals who encouraged us to engage in our community, so we can continue on making a lasting impact on those around us. Furthermore, we would also like to thank Forest Lawn Library for allowing us to have our own booth.

During this event we heard many stories of discrimination, and suggestions as to how to eliminate it. We will definitely keep your suggestion in mind when we plan our next event.

We included some pictures that were taken throughout the day.

Our booth set up for the day. Props for Katrina for helping with the set up!

Talking about what our group is about, and future events that we have planned for the upcoming month.

We were very fortunate to have met Wayne Cao at Taste of Culture again. Thank you for taking a picture with us.

Image  —  Posted: October 29, 2013 by jtraann in Uncategorized
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Although we as Canadians see ourselves as a benefactor community, and indeed we do a good job of taking care of the underprivileged, but there are communities which are left forgotten. The aboriginal communities up in the Northern Part of Canada are good examples. While we are busy fundraising for African children, or Syrian refugees, there are people within our own borders that live in poor conditions.

This summer at SHAD valley, I heard of a non-profit organization which was started by a high school student living in Oakville, ON called Ivy Society, which aims to provide better education for all Canadians by fundraising for the Aboriginal communities. At first i was confused, “did they not have their own education system already?” to which he explained that he has himself went to visit those communities and witnessed first hand how poorly structured they are and how poorly represented these communities are in the government system due to the lack of population. He then explained that although they are supposedly funded by the federal government, but because of their small population, the federal government does not deem education in the northern provinces a big enough issue to direct more funding, and as a result those communities suffered heavily from education funding cuts; to the extent that there are some children who can only own one book in their whole lifetime.

With the help of a friend who also attended SHAD valley this summer, Ivy Society is now spreading to the Calgary area. Please check them out on the following website!


This year I had the luck of volunteering for Global Fest on the night of the Great Britain fireworks (to see a footage of the opening fireworks that night,  watch: , it is definitely an event that creates a lot of hype before, during, and even long after the event throughout Calgary.

Behind the dazzle of the fireworks, it is a goal of the event to bring together the cultures and celebrate all cultures around the globe by featuring fireworks by countries all around the globe in a competition that lasts over 2 weeks.  This year, countries featured includes China, France, Great Britain, USA, and a finale performed by Canada. The performances attracted an estimated 22,000 people over the course of the 5 nights. The awards handed out were as follows:

Team U.S.A. nabbed both the People’s Choice award and the Kid’s Choice Award.

The overall ‘Best Of’ title went to France for the most impressive pyrotechnical display of the year.

The food booths set up around the lake are also big attractions, they feature food from cultures all over the globe. The Vietnamese food booth and Viva Mexico cultural pavilion got the People’s Choice thumbs up this year.

Although the fireworks only lasted for around 20 minutes, this is definitely an event that I will not forget for a long time to come. If I had the chance, I would definitely go again next year!

for more information on the annual Calgary GlobalFest, check out their website:


Heritage Festival

Posted: August 6, 2013 by jtraann in Uncategorized

Several years ago I had the pleasure to attend the Heritage Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. For 2013, this event will begin on August 3rd and will continue till August 5th. I strongly recommend everyone to go, because it is like a massive multicultural fair! I would not miss out if I were you.  Unfortunately I am unable to go to this festival this year, however, my last experience will become an ever lasting memory…

It was as if all culture came together and made a single restaurant. It was as if every culture made a single song. It was as if all culture danced as one. No matter where I stood, or where my eyes drifted, the energy and excitement soared.  The only thing that is missing is for you to attend. (:

For more details about this event, visit

I was sitting in my social class when a classmate exclaimed ” You HAAAVE to watch this. I want you to write a blog post on this video because I want EVERYONE to see this.”
I was a little surprised but I agreed to watch the video.
Some may cry after watching this video, some may feel guilt, and others may pretend that this is all a fictitious film.
If you have the time, I highly recommend watching this because it will make you realize how serious bullying is.
The atrocious events depicted in the film are all based on a true story.

Coming from a catholic family, my mom has always been “repulsed” by homosexuals. It makes me very mad. Whenever she tells me that homosexuality is a sin, I tell her that she’s wrong and that she’s the one who’s sinning. What happen to “love thy neighbour”? I know it’s wrong for me to talk back to my mom but honestly, love is love. No one should ever be bullied for being different. Ever.

Video  —  Posted: May 17, 2013 by nguyen59 in Awareness, Uncategorized
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