You have stories to tell.
Members of MY ROOTS are like you. We’re bright, we’re creative, and we like to make a difference.
MY ROOTS was born out of the need for a voice for the youth of Malvern. If you have a journalistic bent, and you want to be heard, it can be difficult to get published in traditional media – especially if you’re just starting out, and you don’t have published credits to your name. Let’s say you’re from Malvern, you’re still in school – or maybe you’ve just recently graduated – and you want to get noticed. If you haven’t gone to journalism school, it can be hard to get editors to take a chance with you. They say it’s best to write what you know, and what better place to start getting your name out there than starting with the places and people that matter most to you – in other words, writing about your community?
And of course a newspaper needs more than great writing. Are you interested in photography or multimedia? As MY ROOTS continues to grow, we’ll be looking for help with covering local events and keeping the website looking great. Want to hone your skills and showcase the exciting events and inspirational people who live here? Drop us a line, send a story – get involved.
MY ROOTS was formed by Malvern youth just like you: in 2007, Laxmi Parthasarathy conceived the idea of a way for young people’s voices to be heard. There was no outlet in Malvern for young people to get their bylines out there, and Laxmi was finding it hard to get her work published. At the same time, Laxmi was approached by Sydney Elias, a local reverend, who was interested in brainstorming ways to get more involved in the community. When the idea for MY ROOTS came about, three talented friends of Laxmi’s jumped on board – Hilori, Devin, and Natasha (who are all still involved today), and Sydney Elias came on board as an advisor. Laxmi also approached elementary school principal Lindee Ballentine; Lindee was excited about the initiative right from the beginning of MY ROOTS and helped to make it a reality. With the backing of such community leaders, the support of Ashoka’s Youth Venture Program, and the creative leadership of Laxmi, MY ROOTS took off in a big way and continues to give the youth of Malvern a voice.
Maybe you’ve seen our newspaper around the neighbourhood. We’ve published on a quarterly basis since 2007, and we deliver to most elementary and high schools in Malvern; we also deliver to places like your local library, and if you’ve missed an edition, you can catch up on past copies on our website.
We’ve also organized highly successful community events. The launch of our organization drew the support of local politicians, and we had a healthy turnout of volunteers. For our talent show auditions, we drew on the advice of teachers and principals to find participants; we were able to showcase such talented youth as a 7-year-old singer, a university bhangra dance group, and 10 to 15 other acts who all performed for the community.
Our writers workshop was also a hit. Held in partnership with the Malvern branch of the Toronto Public Library, the workshop hosted a panel of writers, film makers, journalists, and poets. About 20 youth had the chance to meet with these experts, talk about their interests, and learn how these professionals got their start.
Want to learn more about MY ROOTS? Check out past editions of our newspaper. If you have a great idea for a news item, a feature article, or if you know someone whose story should be told here, let us know!