Hello, my name is Lauren Wu. I am 19 years old and partially sighted. I will be going into my third year of my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto (University College). Last year, while participating in the first FFB Young Leaders’ Summit, I met so many well-spoken and inspiring young people. It was such a pleasure meeting them and discussing issues and challenges that we face as a collective. On November 5, at the 2016 Young Leaders Summit, I can’t wait to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, and continue our dialogue.
Since learning about the political scene in in the early 2010s, I have been engaged in working with the community to bring pressing issues about vision loss to a wider audience. In 2013, I participated in a government relations internship where I learned how Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGO) participate in governmental discourse. By participating in a variety of initiatives, I learned the importance of great advocacy skills and how to communicate with various levels government.
Since finishing my internship I was selected to participate in the Forum for Young Canadians program. This program enables youth to spend a week in Ottawa to learn about governmental processes in the parliament and senate. The program also engages youth in other ways by introducing them to advocacy conversations outside of the formal political process.
Currently, I am involved with community led organizations that seek to empower youth to join the political process. My advocacy friends led me to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Since attending the Youth Summit last fall and meeting with many other blind and partially sighted youth, I am certain we, the youth of Canada, can bring about change in Canada. I am very enthusiastic to work with other youths to spread advocacy and awareness on vision matters.
Most importantly, I want to empower other blind and partially sighted youth to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
Story guest authored by Lauren Wu. Lauren is a member of the National Young Leaders program at the Foundation Fighting Blindness.