I first heard of the Toronto Youth Cabinet in 2016, when the TYC was advocating for financial literacy to be added to the high school curriculum. Although I wanted to be involved, shortly after I went away for an internship and was unable to participate. When I came back to Toronto, I saw the city in a completely different light and wanted to apply my skills in accounting and finance while exploring interests in my budding interest in city building. In January 2018, I made my first deputation and felt empowered providing my opinions on the city's budget, and knew that the TYC was the perfect space for me to contribute to our city's civic process.
I have been the Budget lead since May 2018. In my role, I have learned so much about the city that I would have never had the opportunity elsewhere. The budget provides those who monitor it closely into our city's intricacies, but working with community organizations, other working group leads and our youth from all over the city has made this opportunity an incredibly enriching one. Above all, the most valuable lesson I've learned is how smart, powerful, and awesome this city's youth are, and every month's cabinet meeting encourages me in our plight to bring awareness to the budget.
From a professional perspective, this opportunity has given me insight into how I can offer my skills in the management and development of the city. I have been privileged to attend city meetings, meet Councillors, and speak on behalf of the Cabinet at community meetings and to the media. Additionally, I have really enjoyed the collaboration between other working groups and our working group. My peers on the leadership team have taught me so much and always push me to greater heights.
Michael Manu is the Budget Lead for the 2018-2019 term. He oversees the Budget Working Group which aims to increase youth awareness, engagement, and excitement around the City’s Budget process and investigate the effectiveness of Council's budget process and budgetary decisions as they pertain to youth in Toronto.
Established in 1998 by Toronto City Council, The Toronto Youth Cabinet is the official youth advisory body to the City of Toronto. The Toronto Youth Cabinet (TYC) is a youth-led advocacy group that promotes youth participation in civic affairs and in policy development. TYC membership is open to youth between the ages of 13 and 24 who live, work, or learn in the City of Toronto