The Power of Voice

Please use the following as a discussion guide to maximize the use of the short film here, which can serve as a tool for teachers and school staff members to better understand students’ experiences of youth empowerment.

The story told in the film is an example of students’ challenges, successes and obstacles as agents of positive change at their school. The film is not intended to demonstrate an ideal model or template for teachers or schools regarding youth empowerment in a school setting.


Teacher describes a student-led initiative that he facilitated resulting in a student who was a sexual abuse survivor speaking out in front of her peers and telling her story at a mental health forum.


What a valuable role adults can play to facilitate students’ empowerment by providing them with opportunities to have a voice and tell their stories.


  • Sexist violence as an indicator of girls’ and women’s marginalization
  • Destructive impact of secrecy and silence surrounding all forms of sexual violence
  • Breaking secrecy and silence by telling our story to take back our power
  • Adults’ role as facilitators of students’ empowerment
  • Respecting students’ choice to tell their story (or not)
  • Centring students’ voice and allowing it to guide us
  • Students developing empathy and becoming allies 


  • Offering marginalized students a forum to tell their story
  • Fostering student initiatives by facilitating their implementation with practical support
  • Fostering peer support by creating opportunities for sharing and storytelling among students
  • Creating opportunities for all students to develop empathy and become allies by witnessing stories of marginalization

Questions for Group Discussion

  1. What are some of the messages this story offers?
  2. What was the impact of this project? On the students involved? On the school?
  3. Why might this project have generated such a range of reactions?
  4. What indicators of youth empowerment are illustrated by this story?
  5. What strategies for adults to facilitate youth empowerment are illustrated by this story?
  6. What other strategies might be developed for involving students in creating their school’s environment and culture?