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Youth Development Program

Ikigai Series

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The Vancouver Art Colloquium Society presents the Skill Share: Ikigai Series!

This Skill Share series is based on the concept of "Ikigai" ("A Reason for Being"). Through ikigai, one is able to enjoy what they do, get paid for it, and make a difference in the world all at the same time. By introducing this concept to youths—as well as to those who are interested, we hope that this inspires them to pursue their personal passions and be able to feel fulfilled throughout their lives. Our youth presenters will showcase their own ikigai to help set the example of what pursuing an ikigai looks like.

Want to share your unique skill or learn a new one? Join us for FREE in a series of open youth skill-share workshops that combine arts, learning, and leadership every third Monday at the Dunbar Community Centre!




Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning
"A Reason for Being"


It has four key components:
What do you love?
What does the world need?
What can you be paid for?
What are you good at?


When all of these components are fulfilled, one can achieve "ikigai" (a reason for being)

Ikigai Video Series

Ikigai Series 1: Day of the Dead

Past Workshops

Youth Empowerment and Development Through Personal Essay Writing 

Background & Aims

As we continue to improve access to educational opportunities for the communities we serve, we also focus on honing the leadership skills of our future generation. With this in mind, we incorporate critical thinking, writing, goal setting and leadership development into our programming of youth empowerment and development. We believe that some of the world's most pressing issues can be solved by youth when given the tools to examine and the space to explore.  

About the workshop

Essay Writing for Youth Program is a unique 8-session literacy experience for youth ages 12-18. It offers a unique blend of speaking, writing, empowerment and leadership development activities designed to develop and support students' critical thinking and imagination across all the areas of personal development. The workshop encourages youth to challenge themselves through writing and portfolio development. The workshops include personal narratives and reflections focused on capturing the accomplishments, hopes, dreams and aspirations of students while developing and demonstrating their proficiencies in the areas of writing.  With guidance from VACS mentors, participants develop a portfolio of writing exercises from each workshop and learn how to share and receive constructive feedback to improve their writing.  The workshop programming also incorporates leadership development and character building workshops that encourage students to explore their leadership potential individually and in teams. 

Session 1: Introduction to Personal Statement  


Session 2: Best skills:

                Why you're great, experiences, accomplishments,


Session 3: Writing skills: 

               Technical, grammatical, wording and language


Session 4: Writing about yourself:

               Your voice, communicating who you are through
               your words


Session 5: Drafting

               Finish this session with multiple drafts - orally
               first then written


Session 6: Writing a personal statement:

               This will be a writing heavy session - where each
               student, guidance, writes their personal

Session 7: Editing:

               Session edit each other's work

Session 8: Finalising and master-version journaling:

                Putting together their finished pieces

                Tips for submission


Final Piece:

  • A master portfolio-journal  

  • 1 solid personal statement - ready for submission

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