Our First National Youth Advisory Panel Gathering

This past summer, on June 23 and 24, 2018, Mathias Castaldo, Maya Pajevic, Hans Dupuis, and Logan Wong, four members of our new National Youth Advisory Panel (NYAP) traveled from Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary to attend their first training event together in Toronto. 


This inaugural training session was a combined effort by CHILD-BRIGHT and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, put in place to help introduce the new youth panel members to their new roles within our patient-oriented research network, in which their voices as youth with lived experience with brain-based developmental disabilities will be key!


The session was hosted by Dolly Menna-Dack, Chair of CHILD-BRIGHT’s Youth Engagement Steering Committee, and was held at Holland Bloorview, where Dolly is the lead for the hospital’s Youth Engagement Strategy. 

Day 1 began with a welcome breakfast, introductions, and icebreakers and then quickly launched into the rest of the day – there was lots of learning to do! Over the course of several hours, our youth members learned about key themes in research such as communication methods, core concepts in ethics, and common issues in pediatric ethics. The day ended at Holland Bloorview’s Youth Advisory Council’s end-of-year party.

Day 2 focussed on CHILD-BRIGHT's Introduction to health research training module, followed by a tour of Holland Bloorview. Frank Gavin, the Chair of the Citizen Engagement Council at CHILD-BRIGHT joined the group at lunch. After that, the youth participated in an education session on reviewing research, as well as a workshop on understanding implicit biases and why these are important to keep in mind as advisors.


“It was an action-packed couple of days in Toronto, but it proved to be quite an inaugural event for the NYAP! Not only was the panel given a valuable introduction to their new roles and to the world of research, but it was also a wonderful opportunity to come together as members of the CHILD-BRIGHT community,” says Dolly Menna-Dack.

“It was great to put names to faces of the other members of the network, and also to get introduced in a very positive way to the realm of research, what research looks like, what research is, and what our role as members of the CHILD-BRIGHT Network will be to improve the lives and experience of those living with a brain-based disability,” says NYAP member Maya Pajevic.  

Thank you to Dolly Menna-Dack and her team at Holland Bloorview, and also to the wonderful members of both the CHILD-BRIGHT and Holland Bloorview youth committees for such a successful event!