Empowering youth through the arts

Thrive Youth, formerly DAREarts, is a nonprofit organization that utilizes arts-based learning to develop leadership skills in young people from underserved communities across Canada. In this podcast, we talk to two of Thrive Youth’s alumni, Shahla Lafeer and Sylvia Prodhan, about how the program has helped position them for success.

The Thrive Youth “secret sauce”

“We don’t believe in leadership as a set of skills that we have to impart, and then kids have to learn and practice. For us, it’s about building a young person’s self-confidence. It’s about teaching them what they’re capable of.”

—Pari Rajagopalan, Executive Director, Thrive Youth

Showing up for yourself and others

“When you are confident in yourself and you show up for yourself, you end up having the energy and drive to show up for others as well. And that’s what makes a great leader—someone who feels whole in such a way that they can help others build confidence, too.”

—Shahla Lafeer

Creating connections through kindness

“Treat yourself with kindness and that will transfer into the kindness that you show others. No matter what, you can never lose when you are kind to others. That’s how you network. That’s how you create connections with people and how you make opportunities for yourself.”

—Sylvia Prodhan

“Thrive Youth was a safe space where I could be myself."


“Thrive Youth helped me see that my actions had importance."



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