2018 National Young Leaders Summit: Register Now

November 28th, 2017 by Dr. Chad Andrews

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is thrilled to announce details for next year’s National Young Leaders Summit.

The event will take place in Toronto on the evening of Friday, March 9 and during the day on Saturday, March 10, 2018. We are partnering with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to hold the Summit at their Community Hub at Yonge and St. Clair. The event will be co-chaired by two incredible Young Leaders, Shaini Saravanamuthu and Jack McCormick.

The Summit’s program is still coming into focus, but the current version can be found at the bottom of this post,

This Summit will be an exciting weekend focused on networking, collaboration, and shared experiences. You can register for the event by clicking the link below and providing some basic details:


What is the Foundation Fighting Blindness National Young Leaders Program?

In 2015, the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) launched the National Young Leaders Program. The goal of this program is to build a community where blind and visually impaired youth can experience mentorship, grow as leaders, and create positive change.

Who can apply?

Young people ages 17 through 30 who are living with a vision impairment.

Why participate?

As a National Young Leader, you will:

Experience professional leadership training
Build your personal and professional networks
Develop advocacy skills
Identify ways to take action in your community

When and where will it take place?

DATE: Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10.

LOCATION: CNIB Community Hub at Yonge and St. Clair, Toronto, Ontario

How much will it cost to participate?

The event itself and free, and thanks to our generous sponsors, RBC, we have established a scholarship fund to help offset the cost of travel. If you are coming from outside of Toronto, please indicate this on the registration page and you will be considered for a travel scholarship.

How to apply?

If you have any questions, feel free to email them to Chad Andrews at Information on The Foundation For Fighting Blindness website here:

March 9 and 10, 2018 | CNIB Community Hub, 1525 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1Z2
Co-Chairs: Shaini Saravanamuthu and Jack McCormick

Launched in 2015 by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the National Young Leaders Program provides mentorship and resources to young people aged 17-30 affected by vision loss, empowering them to become leaders in their communities. The Summit is the Program’s premier event, an opportunity for youth across Canada with vision impairments to meet face-to-face to build relationships, experience mentorship, establish networks, and develop leadership skills. The event’s programming is directed by members of the Young Leader community who take the role of Chair or Co-Chairs, with support provided by staff at the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Primary Objective
The overarching objective of the Summit is to enable attendees to become Young Leaders, individuals who can mentor others and bring knowledge and resources back to their own communities. Young people living with vision impairments are underserved in Canada, often left on their own to face the same challenges as those who are fully sighted; the community established by the network of Young Leaders—a community that will grow as they influence and mentor others—is intended to fill this gap. Learning objectives and outcomes relate to this central goal and are summarized below.

2018 Summit
The theme for the Summit in March of 2018 will be “finding a rewarding career.” We know that young people will steer the future of Canada and the world. But we also know that they are underserved, overburdened by debt, and challenged by an uncertain and highly competitive job market. Programming in 2018 is designed to help attendees navigate the complexities of finding a career in this turbulent and precarious landscape, with opportunities to interact with industry leaders and sessions focussed on the development of concrete skills. Insights gained during the Summit will be summarized by participants in a post-event survey; attendees are also asked to offer mentorship to 2 additional youth within a 4-month period, and to contribute to the development of an online Hub—rolled-out over the course of 2018 and hosted on the FFB’s website—that will collect stories and resources emerging from the Summit.

Summary of Deliverables
– Complete a post-event survey within two weeks of it being made available
– Identify and offer mentorship or insights to 2 young people within a 4-month period
– Contribute to the development of an online Hub (details TBD)

Learning Objectives and Outcomes
(Items are also associated with units on the agenda, which are detailed in a section below)
– Increased awareness of challenges and opportunities in Canada’s job market, including strategies to address challenges
– Improved aptitude with resume and portfolio development
– Improved aptitude with navigating online networks and social media in relation to careers
– Creation of relationships and connections with peers and mentors
– Development of leadership skills

CNIB Community Hub, 1525 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1Z2