Episode 1 – Empowering future careers in IT—share your #YouthSpark March 18th

Microsoft to kick-off YouthSpark Live

Empowering Canadian youth with skills development for success in the job market

Take up the challenge and Tweet your #YouthSpark on March 18th.

Share your story and tell us what inspired your interest in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship using the hashtag #YouthSpark.

· Sample: My #YouthSpark was [coding classes in the summer]! Now I'm a [company founder or developer] with #[your company]!

· Sample: My #YouthSpark was [using my first PC to create e-paintings]. Now I [work with or manage #Microsoft solutions ].

To learn more about Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, please visit www.youthsparkhub.com, where you’ll find details about the more than 30 programs designed to provide opportunities to youth around the world.

----- extracted and adapted from a MS YouthSpark Live media advisory and alert

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Microsoft Canada and the Boys and Girls Club of Canada will host approximately 100 local youth for a day-long skills development and mentorship conference in Vancouver, BC with participation from Pathways to Education, SHAD and Ladies Learning Code.

Joining the event will be the Hon. Shirley Bond and Hon. Andrew Wilkinson, Vancouver North MP, Andrew Saxton, and Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer. Molly Burke from Me to We will provide the keynote address.


YouthSpark Live is part of Microsoft YouthSpark, a global commitment to empowering young people with opportunities for employment, education and entrepreneurship. The day-long conference will bring together youth to provide them with tools and skills necessary for 21st Century jobs. The sessions will include:

· Skill Development: Empower youth with tips and tools to help them study more effectively for success in school.

· Coding: Unleash the inner innovator in youth by exploring the world of coding.

· Careers in Technology: Explore career and entrepreneurship opportunities in computer science.  


· Microsoft Canada (YouthSpark Ambassadors: Genevieve L’Esperance & Sage Franch)

· Andrew Saxton, MP, North Vancouver

· Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

· Hon. Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education

· Andrea Reimer, Deputy Mayor, City of Vancouver

· Molly Burke, Me to We

· Microsoft Canada YouthSpark Partners (Molly Burke, Me to We)

· Namir Anani, President & CEO, ICTC Canada (Ottawa)

 [I will be chairing a session on Careers in Technology with amazing computing students who are Microsoft Foundry interns.]


Technology holds tremendous opportunity for people around the world to do more and achieve more in their lives.

However, young people are facing an opportunity divide – a gap between those who have access, skills, and opportunities to be successful and those who do not. Currently, more than 50% of today’s jobs require some degree of IT skills, and experts say that percentage will increase to 77% in the next decade. In Canada, we are faced with the continually rising youth unemployment rate (12.8%). Closing this opportunity divide is one of the most important actions we can all take – together – to secure the future of our youth and as a result, the future of our global economy.

[Note: Microsoft figures reported from these sources:



50% of todays…. Is from Making Cents – specifically from the US Bureau labour statistics.

12.8% youth unemployment is from Stats Can – Labour outlook from January. ]

Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Currently, more than 50% of today’s jobs require some degree of IT skills, and experts say that

  2. Anonymous says:

    Currently, more than 50% of today’s jobs require some degree of IT skills, and experts say that

  3. Anonymous says:

    To make a difference on March 18th impacting our youth, s hare your story on Twitter of what inspired

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maria’s accomplishments are considerable as noted in this recent speaking event :


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