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Between the G20 riots, regal visits and Harborfront ships, Toronto has played host to an interesting past several weeks.

But I will not be rioting or sailing away any time soon.

I will be spending the next seven weeks at YCI to work on youth recruitment and marketing strategies. The position presents me with the (tremendous) challenge of engaging and encouraging students to actively participate in YCI’s international development projects around the world, from everywhere like Tanzania to Ghana, to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Nevertheless, I am excited at the prospect of interacting with my peers!

The more my research here progresses, the more excited I become about the fact that YCI is directly impacting hundreds of “youth” around the world. With the support of CIDA, and thousands of volunteers, YCI’s upcoming projects are, unquestionably, going to be enormously impactful and I hope that I can encourage you to participate, too!

YCI's 2010 summer student, Stacy

As a McGill university student, I know that come September, we, students, are sucked into the vortex of endless schoolwork, sleepless nights and over-caffeinated study sessions. Deadlines hauntingly linger in our not-so-distant futures, papers must be finished, labs have to be completed.

But I also recognize the amazing opportunity that each and every one of us has to reach out to others. Ultimately, that is something that I am excitedly and aggressively going to promote, here, at YCI because international development projects are the perfect channel of discovery and the ideal venue through which to uncover personal challenges.

As a medical anthropology student, I find epidemiological profiles, and illness pathologies fascinating—not because I am a science geek (which I admittedly confess, I am)—but because they remind me that each of us has a different perspective, a unique narrative, to share with the rest of the world. I love that international development projects are the portal to those stories, and I hope that many more volunteers will come to discover them for themselves this coming semester!

I promise to keep you updated on upcoming adventures, exciting opportunities and YCI happenings—and hopefully, in the meantime, I will also acquire better blogging skills.

Have a sunny day!

-Stacy Topouzova, Youth Engagement & Marketing Assistant, Summer Student 2010. With the support of the Canada Summer Jobs program, Stacy will be supporting our Toronto office team until mid-August.

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