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The NYSF empowers young people

Welcome to the December 2013 issue of NYSF Outlook.

This time of year provides the opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future.

One of the most influential people in both my personal and professional life, who I met in my teens, often reminds me during difficult and challenging times about the analogy of the Fair Weathered Sailor. A Fair Weathered Sailor is someone that is agreeable only when the prevailing conditions are pleasant. As soon as conditions deteriorate these people prove to be unreliable where any ideology of teamwork and taking responsibility for their actions transforms into unhelpful self-preservation. Change is inevitable in life. The challenge that we all have is not presented by the change itself; it is how we choose to respond.

The forth-coming January sessions marks my third year of involvement with the NYSF. Based on my experiences, one of the pivotal aspects of the NYSF, in synergy with science, engineering and technology, is the focus on preparing young people to identify, address and reflect on the challenges that they face as they find their active place in society.

In practice, the NYSF does this by empowering young people to listen, reflect, share ideas and even be contentious during the Forum’s visits and personal development activities. It is the ambition of the NYSF to prepare young people to cope with change, through understanding conflicting perspectives, and develop the self-confidence to make their own informed decisions and stay true to themselves.

To say that it has been a busy year for the NYSF would be nothing short of an understatement. This year has seen a change of leadership, an office restructure, a focus on governance, all within a framework of critical review and reflection. Into 2014, the challenges for the NYSF, in my view, centre on the ongoing financial sustainability of the organisation, as well as its relevance, so that we can ensure that we will be around for at least another 30 years!

I would like to acknowledge the professional support and ongoing commitment by the NYSF Staff, Executive and Council towards the success of the organisation.

On behalf of all of us at the NYSF, I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Festive Season.

We are especially looking forward to welcoming our latest cohort of NYSF participants in … 18 sleeps, until Session A!

Damien Pearce