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Leading Innovative and Engaging Youth Programs March 2017

  Mar 16 - Mar 19, 2017 Thu 2:00 PM - Sun 2:00 PM

This program is suited to anyone who is interested in high-level training in youth engagement and program planning to enhance their abilities as youth workers, mentors, social workers, employment counsellors, teachers, volunteers or recreation staff.

“It helped me work through the process of putting together programming for youth and think of new and exciting ways to engage youth in our programs and bring in the element of the community in which they live.” – 2013 participant

Leading Innovative and Engaging Youth Programs is a flagship HeartWood training program and is an essential experience for anyone interested in delivering engaging youth programs. Participants will experience a hands on exploration of leadership and facilitation techniques using an appreciative approach coupled with a service-learning framework.

At Leading Innovative and Engaging Youth Programs we share best practices, applied theory, techniques, and experiential activities you can use to engage youth, deepen their experiences, enhance and build on their strengths and gifts, and identify ways to more deeply connect young people to community action. 

“The thing I appreciated most about this experience has been the comfortable, safe, sharing and caring environment that allowed participants to contribute in ways that felt comfortable doing so, while challenging them to step outside of the comfort zone once in a while – concrete skills and strategies to apply to our work with youth” – 2015 participant

Program Fee: $500  including meals and multiple occupancy accommodation
Program Fee including meals but no lodging $375


Please note: Single room accommodation is available for an additional cost of $25 per night. However, there is a limited number of single rooms available and cannot be guaranteed. Please express your interest in booking a single room when registering and we will confirm availability. Single rooms are on a first come first serve basis. 

We have a small bursary fund to support the participation of those who may face financial barriers to attend this training. We can cover full and partial fees for a small number of participants - please contact for more information. 

This is a joint initiative of the HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development and the Tatamagouche Centre, made possible through funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. 


Rena Kulczycki

Rena KulczyckiRena Kulczycki, (pronouns: they/them) is an activist & facilitator bent on building inclusive communities that celebrate diversity. Described as an inclusive, engaging and eloquent facilitator, they believe our most transformational experiences are those shared in environments of mutual support and respect, where our limits can be challenged and our ideas collaboratively cultivated. To that end, Rena applies their wit and skill to foster spaces where people may be authentic and vulnerable striving toward stronger and more honest communities of trust and support.

Louise Lyman

Louise Lyman is an artist and facilitator who works with young people and communities towards social and climate justice. She is a Program Facilitator with HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development where she weaves her experiences in creative facilitation, human rights work, community development and youth engagement to create spaces where young people can better connect with themselves, each other, and have meaningful roles as change makers in their communities.
Louise is also a graphic facilitator with Brave Space where she creates illustrations, videos, and graphic captures of ideas and group processes. Louise is part of the Art of Hosting community and integrates her skills in working with conflict – both Deep Democracy and Dialogues for Peaceful Change – into her facilitation. Passionate about working with an intersectional inclusive lens, Louise centres the importance of creating spaces where we can encounter difference, practice care for each other, and show up for one another. Embracing her gentleness and toughness, Louise faces complexity by bringing both compassion and clarity. She connects her life and work of engaging in social issues with a deep love and exploration of the art, movements, processes and tools that support social transformation. 

Adrianna MacKenzie

Adrianna Mackenzie is a senior facilitator for HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development and has had a long relationship with HeartWood as she started as a participant when she was 15. She has been facilitating youth programming for over 12 years working with diverse groups of youth all with various needs. Adrianna has always had a commitment to improving the experiences of youth in the care of child welfare agencies and contiues to persue opportunities to connect youth in care to positive learning experiences.

Adrianna received her Bachelor of Education from Acadia University and spent two years as the Executive Director at St. George's YouthNet in the inner city of Halifax. Being extremely passionate about creating positive spaces for youth to change their communities Adrianna believes that when we see the value of youth engagement communities transform.

When not working Adrianna spends time chasing her son around rediscovering all the tiny things in the universe and laughing at the never ending entertianment that her one and a half year old offers. She also plays ultimate frisbee, bakes yummy chocolate chip cookies and does lots of backyard gardening.

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