Youth Optimism Up in Canada

Youth Optimism Up in Canada 
Teens optimistic about their quality of life as adults, but struggle
to feel heard suggests MasterCard and Big Brothers Big Sisters of
Canada Survey 
OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/17/13 --  
Editors note: There are three photos and one video associated with
this press release. 
Most Canadian teenagers believe their glass is half full according to
a new national survey commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of
Canada (BBBSC) and MasterCard Canada. In fact, a majority of Canadian
teenagers (57 per cent) believe their quality of life as adults will
surpass their parents.  
Only 11 per cent expect their future quality of life to be worse than
their parents, while 32 per cent anticipate their quality of life as
adults to be "about the same" as their parents.  
The Ipsos Reid study also shows that a strong majority of Canada's
teenagers are community minded. Eight in ten teens (80 per cent) say
they are committed to giving back to the community. Additionally, 91
per cent of those surveyed believe young people have much to offer to
influence positive change.  
However, though they feel they have a lot of positive contributions
to make to their communities, many teens felt their ideas go unheard.
According to the survey, nearly half of teenagers (44 per cent)
believe they are prevented from making a difference simply because no
one listens to them. BBBSC in partnership with MasterCard is
attempting to change that.  
Inspiring the next generation of leaders at the Ottawa Youth Summit 
The study's findings are being used to spark discussion about youth
leadership at the Big Brothers Big Sisters/MasterCard Youth Summit
now underway in Ottawa. The 100 teens attending this unique summit
are receiving youth leadership training from young Canadian
entrepreneurs to inspire them to become agents of positive social
change. The teens were selected from the ranks of Big Brothers Big
Sisters mentoring programs based upon their strong track records of
community service. 
"Canada's teenagers are our country's next generation of leaders and
they are full of innovative ideas that inspire positive social change
every day," said Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada. "Their
voice is strong and the Ottawa Youth Summit is a great platform for
an exchange and dialogue on how to build a better future for all
Canadians. MasterCard Canada is happy to be a part of that
Summit delegates represent every region of Canada and each will have
the opportunity to express their views on influencing positive change
to Members of Parliament. 
Though they might not tell you, teens DO look to adults as role
models within the community  
The survey reveals that teenagers generally have a sophisticated
understanding of the connection between community service and role
models. Almost nine in 10 (89 per cent) believe that teens with a
parent or adult mentor who sets a strong example of community service
are more likely to become socially engaged than those without role
"Parents across Canada should take great pride in these findings,"
says Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of BBBSC. "Eighty-four per
cent of those surveyed report that they have positive role models who
have proven to them that individuals can make a difference through
their actions. This speaks to the quality of parenting in Canada and
the power of mentoring to inspire young people to become socially
This optimism, however, is tempered by the fact that two in three
teenagers (66 per cent) feel highly pressured and stressed about life
after high school.  
Other interesting findings include: 

--  Half (51 per cent) of the teenagers surveyed are optimistic about
    Canada's future, while 35 per cent are unsure. Nineteen per cent are
    pessimistic about the country's future. 
--  Forty-one per cent are optimistic about their ability to influence
    Canada's future, while 39 per cent are neutral and 19 per cent are
--  More than eight in ten (84 per cent) are confident in their ability to
    meet whatever challenges the future brings. 
--  Eighty-two per cent have faith in their ability to influence positive
--  Nine in ten (91 per cent) think that social engagement is important to
    improving our quality of life. 
--  Ninety-two per cent believe that influencing positive change in
    communities should be a priority for all Canadians, including teenagers.
--  Ninety-three per cent think that individuals have the power to shape the
    future if they choose to get involved. 
--  Almost eight in ten (78 per cent) believe they are personally
    responsible for creating a better future. 

When it comes to responsibility for positive social change, the
majority of teenagers believe that social media has an important role
to play.  
"Fifty-six per cent of the teenagers think that social media
organizations are responsible, along with governments, corporations
and educators, for building a better future," notes MacDonald.
"Today's teenagers appear set to put their generation's unique stamp
on influencing change." 
The Big Brothers Big Sisters and MasterCard Youth Optimism Survey was
conducted by Ipsos Reid between March 5th and March 11th, 2013. For
this survey, a sample of 502 Canadian teenagers, aged 16-19, from
Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. The precision of
Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this
case, the survey is accurate to within +/- 5 percentage points had
all Canadian teenagers, aged 16-19, been polled.  
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada  
For one hundred years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a
positive difference in the lives of Canada's youth by developing and
implementing a wide range of mentoring programs. BBBSC volunteer
mentors teach by example the importance of giving back, of staying in
school, and of respecting family, peers and community.  
BBBSC provides quality mentoring services for more than 33,000
children and teenagers. The community-based youth mentoring
organization currently has over 25,000 volunteer mentors working at
123 agencies that serve children in over 1,000 communities across the
country. Learn more. Visit 
About MasterCard 
MasterCard (NYSE:MA),, is a technology company in
the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments
processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions,
merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and
territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday
commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business
and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for
everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion
on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news. 
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Serda Evren
VP, Communications and Philanthropy
Xposure PR
Michelle Magee
Senior Consultant
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