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Schools in Ontario shut down more than eight weeks ago on March 14th and will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Teenagers, like all of us, have had their lives upended by COVID-19. Online learning has been far from ideal for students and their families. It’s especially difficult for marginalized youth who rely on schools and community centres for support programs, safety from abusive homes, and even their daily meals. The Social Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian Youth web survey revealed that the global pandemic is taking an emotional toll on youth.

We spoke to four student leaders from Urban Minds’ 1UP program to see how their lives have changed since the pandemic shut schools down. What are their fears and anxieties? How are they coping? And what are their takeaways for when things do go back to “normal”? …

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