An open letter to the young people, parents and those parenting in Waterloo Region:

This past year has been hard. Really hard. You have all been asked to carry so much. For some, this has meant the chance for new skills, and new interests to grow. And for many, it has meant a roller-coaster ride of emotions, struggles to make it through some days, and in some cases, grief and real loss – of family, of friends, of opportunities. 

We see you. And we are in awe of all of you. We are so very grateful that you are here, just as you are, and that you are part of this community. 

Young people – you are surviving a global pandemic as a child or youth! None of us adults will be able to say the same. You have wisdom and insights from this time that the rest of us will never have in the same way. You are all remarkable and hold a strength that is unique and amazing. 

Parents and those parenting – some say parenting is the hardest job out there. And that was before managing a pandemic was added to the list! What you have done is amazing. 

As we look ahead, even during hard times, we can’t help feeling hopeful. We have hope for a community that sees and supports the struggles that are still on your shoulders. Hope for a community that sees and celebrates all that you have achieved this past year. Hope for a community that cares deeply for our young people. Hope for the chance for adults and young people to work together. And hope to build a future where we all feel valued and that we belong.

With great respect, we wish all of you a summer of connection, well-being, and peace. Please know that many groups are meeting often over the summer to address the needs of families and young people to feel safe, well and that they belong in Waterloo region. If you want to reach out at any point and share what you think the community needs with these groups, please email

With gratitude, 

The Steering Committee of the Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT)