A Generation Interrupted - Recap 2021 P.H.A.S.E. 1 Youth Wellness Forum

As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, the focus on holistic wellness has been further amplified. That's why P.H.A.S.E 1 Youth Association; which for the past 25 years has been centered on youth development, thought it imperative to host a wellness forum catering specifically to our younger audience. This forum aimed to offer guidance to the youth as they navigate these unprecedented times.

P.H.A.S.E. 1 Youth Wellness Forum was held virtually over a three day period- January 23, 26, and 28, and was divided into morning and evening sessions which ran from 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Each session featured a host of dynamic and engaging speakers who explored topics of self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, and relationship skills.

P.H.A.S.E. 1 accommodated a diverse set of participants from Canada, The United States, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica who excitedly soaked up the insight imparted by the speakers.

Social advocate, Phil Edwards has a lifetime of experience enriching other peoples’ lives and took the participants through the process of maintaining goals during the pandemic, and his expertise was appreciated.

“Through Phil Edwards time on Maintaining Goals During COVID-19, I learned that it is important to evaluate my priorities and goals. With the extra time during the pandemic, I can apply it to areas of my life that I hadn't paid attention to, such as travel, my lifestyle, and personal development,” one participant stated.

Remaining organized can help significantly while maintaining goals, and Gifty Appiah, founder of Baller Mom gave participants tips on how to do just that in her presentation titled Staying Organized During Uncertainty. Needless to say, her tips were well received.

“I learned that organization is key, especially through these times. Simple tasks such as creating a daily goal calendar or creating good habits can help to alleviate any stress and confusion,” one participant shared of her presentation.

Meanwhile, Eugene Kotorobai gave some great financial advice to the participants. Through his presentation Wealth to Stay Pandemic Ready, he guided participants on how to create wealth by first learning to manage their finances. Participants left that presentation more financially literate and determined to make changes to their own lifestyles.

“I learned that despite the financial burdens and ache that has come with the pandemic, it is good to start thinking about my personal finances, income, and wealth. While things may be slowed down, wealth is a very influential part of everyday life and the world currently,” a participant said.

They were also taught how to use music as a tool to deal with the anxiety that may result because of the pandemic from presenter, Chris Francis. After his very interactive presentation, participants were able to see music as more than just a fun past time activity.

“Through this, I learned more about the impacts music can have on me and my mood. In such uneasy times, especially while stuck in one area, it can be hard to keep a calm composure. Music is an outlet that allows many to feel calm, and can aid in the process of protecting my mental wellness,” one declared.

The final session on Thursday, January 28 focused completely on self-awareness. It featured an experienced and engaging list of panelists, including founder of P.H.A.S.E 1 Youth Academy, Wayne Dawkins. For much of his presentation, Dawkins exposed participants to what it meant to be an ELITE 1. An Elite 1 is the term coined by P.H.A.S.E. 1 to describe an individual’s journey towards achieving a particular goal while taking into consideration the obstacles they face and highlights their determination to continue.

“I encourage you that when you have an obstacle that may be challenging you go in front of that mirror and you tell yourself, ‘I am an Elite 1’. It’s a source of encouragement, and the more that we witnessed other people take that journey successfully, the more we believe it’s possible,” he told the attentive group.

Dawkins’ presentation was followed by an enlightening one from Tresor Kalambay who taught participants how to identify their feelings to improve their mental health and productivity, and also as a form of self-care. Korrie Mullen, the next presenter, gave participants insights on how to practice self-love which he brilliantly broke down into the acronym, “A.I.D 321”. With Awareness, Intention, Discipline being the tools for self-love, while management, balance, and service describing how one would use those tools.

Other speakers included; NCAA Player turned Financial Advisor, Tristan Martin who shared with participants the importance of teamwork, and Bhavika Chauhan who taught participants the importance of using social media wisely. Chauhan’s presentation for many of the participants was a timely and well-received message.

“I learned from Bhavika was how to change your feed around into something more educational and useful. For example, if my Tik Tok feed is full of dance videos and videos that have no value that is because I am continuously engaging with them causing it to always show up on my page. If I start liking, sharing, and overall engaging with cooking videos, finance videos, or baking videos, it will show up on my feed more,” one shared.