The Students Commission


Our 2016 Annual Report

Students Commission Annual Report 2016

2016 was an exciting year for the Students Commission of Canada as we celebrated 25 years of championing youth voice and engagement. We hosted our 25th anniversary national youth conference and presented our recommendations to Justin Trudeau and the Prime Minister's office. We worked with UNICEF, Save the Children and Health Canada to engage young people on issues that affect them. We expanded our innovative research and evaluation platform, Sharing the Stories, to support more organizations to tell the story of their impact. In short, we were busy! Check out our annual report to hear about it all!

Our 2016 financials can be viewed here.

Leadership Updates for 2017

Our leadership team: Sharif Mahdy, Stoney McCart and Christa Romaldi

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Christa Romaldi to The Students Commission, as Associate Director, providing support to Director Sharif Mahdy as a member of the leadership circle. Christa will focus on internal capacity building. She will oversee the day-to-day management of the organization, supporting our national team to execute our multiple projects. Director Sharif Mahdy will focus on identifying, developing and sustaining external partnerships. He will continue to provide leadership for the organization's key initiatives and projects. Stoney McCart retains the title of Executive Director. Stoney will be shifting her attention to the generation of big ideas that transform the sector and that provide broad positive impact for youth. For more information about the Students Commission, please contact

Feburary 28-March 1, 2017: Sharing the Stories Knowledge Exchange

Group photo of conference participants

Sharing the Stories is a platform of youth engagement and youth program evaluation tools that supports youth organizations in tracking outcomes and telling the story of their programs and initiatives. The Sharing the Stories initiative involves diverse youth organizations and agencies from across Canada and around the world. The platform also offers one-on-one coaching for youth organizations to build their capacity for meaningful youth engagement and youth program evaluation. There are currently 182 STS members. STS members and members of the youth sector are invited to make meaning of the data collected from the Sharing the Stories research and evaluation initiative.

For more information on the Sharing the Stories research and evaluation platform, please go to

Register for Sharing the Stories Knowledge Exchange

March 1-5, 2017: The Canada We Want Conference Series

The Students Commission of Canada was founded at a national youth conference in 1991. The 1991 youth conference produced 260 recommendations for policy makers with the final recommendation focused on 'commissioning' an organization to support the implementation of the recommendations. Since then, the SCC has hosted at least one pan-Canadian conference every year. We are inviting 135 youth aged 12-25 and 25 adults allies from every province and territory to participate in the Canada We Want Conference Series. Our conference will focus on providing young people with an opportunity to have a say in the decisions that affect them and to determine the Canada We Want for the next 150 years. We will use the Young Decision Makers model to work through the various theme areas. Please see Young Decision Makers model. We will also use the conference to mark the 150h anniversary of Canadian Confederation and build opportunities for young people to continue to sustain their engagement in their home communities.

Register for Canada We Want Conference Series

Thank you Barb

YDM Conference Report cover page

Throughout the past 25 years, many individuals have passed through the doors of The Students Commission. Some have stayed for a few months while others have enjoyed an extensive career, contributing to our organization’s success. One of these long-serving individuals is Barb McIntosh.

In 2016, Barb retired from The Students Commission. Throughout her 25 years with the organization, Barb played many roles including, but not limited to: developing programs and projects; training, supervising and mentoring staff and youth volunteers; organizing youth conferences, national and international events; database development; testing, implementing and overseeing our technology infrastructure; developing financial systems and reports as our Chief Financial Officer; and developing and programming our Sharing the Stories Research Platform on the web. As a Founder and co-creator with Executive Director Stoney McCart, Barb helped The Students Commission grow from a small group of volunteers to an organization with a presence across Canada.

More importantly, Barb served as a mentor for many youth and staff throughout her years at the SC. Whether it was providing job and life skills, or a word of reassurance, a much needed hug and counselling – she has been a champion of youth engagement and empowering young people for 25 years.

For Barb, no dream is too big to make happen. She is now pursuing her personal dream of becoming a Sound Healer, combining her healing skills and spiritual practices with her lifelong love of music. You can check out her new work at: or contact her at her personal email address: She is always happy to hear from and visit with SC’ers when they are in Toronto.

We wish Barb continued success, and thank her for her many contributions to The Students Commission.

Now hiring 2 coop students for 2016-2017!

Coop students working Attention Toronto high school students! We're now hiring 2 co-op students for the 2016-2017 school year. If you are interested in research and evaluation, facilitation, youth programming, graphics and video, please take a look at the job description and send your resume to

The YDM Conference Report is complete!

YDM Conference Report cover page

After the conference, we engaged in a national validation process of the recommendations in this report. We asked for feedback on the draft report from conference participants, adult allies, facilitators and others from our network, and conducted two video conference calls with youth participants from across the country to validate the recommendations, with a focus on developing key messages and action items.

Together, we will spend the next year working with youth in the various communities to turn these recommendations into reality, but we can’t do it alone. We are hoping you can support us in this process.

25th Anniversary Young Decision Makers Conference

Young Decisions Makers Conference

We are excited to announce the successful completion of our 25th Anniversary Young Decisions Makers Conference. The ideas generated are being shared directly with the Prime Ministers Office and the Executive Directors of National Youth Serving Agencies. 165 youth and adult allies from every province and territory came together to study, discuss and develop recommendations on a number of key issues. These included: Mental Health & Wellness, Diversity & Social Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, Youth Voice & Decision Making Structures, Substance Misuse, Healthy Relationships, A Path to Reconciliation and On-Line Exploitation and Privacy. Each 'theme team' nominated representatives to support the writing of a conference report.

2015 Highlights and Updates

The Sharing the Stories Header

The Students Commission has moved into the second version of the Sharing the Stories research and evaluation platform in anticipation of our 25th anniversary next year. With this large update to our web-based program evaluation platform, we would like to look back at the partnerships of the last few months, which have helped us do such great work this year, and look forward to the great projects we are working on moving into the future.

The Entrepreneurship E-Book cover Over the past few months, our partnerships have led to the creation of several resources for the youth sector: the YMCA Youth Who Thrive resource and the Boys and Girls Club of Canada Youth Entrepreneurship E-Book. These resources allow for important facts and information to be displayed in an easily digestible format for youth, adult allies and community stakeholders.

We have also been working in communities across Canada to deliver workshops and events in association with organizations such as the RCMP and the City of Kingston. These workshops and events have allowed us to target key issues such as cyber-bullying within youth communities, and implement a multi-year youth strategy to make Kingston a more youth friendly and inclusive city.

Children Lead the Way is a program by Save the Children partenering with the Students Commission With this knowledge base about Canadian youth, we have also engaged in a global discussion about the needs of young people, by partnering with HBSC, Save the Children, and UNICEF. These international projects have shaped our understanding of young people’s needs by engaging in discussion with Canadian and international youth about what they feel shapes their lives and health.

The Collective Impact for Toronto Youth Logo As leaders in youth engagement, we will also be continuing our work as the backbone of the Collective Impact for Toronto Youth project, which aims to bring Toronto youth organizations together to increase the high school graduation rates of racialized youth furthest away from opportunities.

One of our youth facilitators Moving forward, The Students Commission will be starting up a Youth Group to discuss issues like: young people’s health, healthy relationships and ways to be involved. This youth group will also be facilitating and helping to create content for our upcoming 25th anniversary youth conference.

Check out the linked webpages within this update to find out more about these great projects and resources!

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The Students Commission