OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/17/13 -- Most Canadian teenagers believe their glass is half full according to a new national survey commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) and MasterCard Canada. In fact, a majority of Canadian teenagers (57 per cent) believe their quality of life as adults will surpass their parents.
Only 11 per cent expect their future quality of life to be worse than their parents, while 32 per cent anticipate their quality of life as adults to be "about the same" as their parents.
The Ipsos Reid study also shows that a strong majority of Canada's teenagers are community minded. Eight in ten teens (80 per cent) say they are committed to giving back to the community. Additionally, 91 per cent of those surveyed believe young people have much to offer to influence positive change.
However, though they feel they have a lot of positive contributions to make to their communities, many teens felt their ideas go unheard. According to the survey, nearly half of teenagers (44 per cent) believe they are prevented from making a difference simply because no one listens to them. BBBSC in partnership with MasterCard is attempting to change that.
Inspiring the next generation of leaders at the Ottawa Youth Summit
The study's findings are being used to spark discussion about youth leadership at the Big Brothers Big Sisters/MasterCard Youth Summit now underway in Ottawa. The 100 teens attending this unique summit are receiving youth leadership training from young Canadian entrepreneurs to inspire them to become agents of positive social change. The teens were selected from the ranks of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs based upon their strong track records of community service.
"Canada's teenagers are our country's next generation of leaders and they are full of innovative ideas that inspire positive social change every day," said Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada. "Their voice is strong and the Ottawa Youth Summit is a great platform for an exchange and dialogue on how to build a better future for all Canadians. MasterCard Canada is happy to be a part of that conversation."
Summit delegates represent every region of Canada and each will have the opportunity to express their views on influencing positive change to Members of Parliament.
Though they might not tell you, teens DO look to adults as role models within the community
The survey reveals that teenagers generally have a sophisticated understanding of the connection between community service and role models. Almost nine in 10 (89 per cent) believe that teens with a parent or adult mentor who sets a strong example of community service are more likely to become socially engaged than those without role models.
"Parents across Canada should take great pride in these findings," says Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of BBBSC. "Eighty-four per cent of those surveyed report that they have positive role models who have proven to them that individuals can make a difference through their actions. This speaks to the quality of parenting in Canada and the power of mentoring to inspire young people to become socially engaged."
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