Maxwell Tran, a third-year Bachelor of Health Sciences Program (B.H.Sc.) student, was recently named to Plan Canada's Top 20 Under 20 for his efforts to grow and promote Ink Movement — a non-profit organization that was conceived to empower youth through the arts.
I was an avid writer in high school, and I noticed right away there aren't the same kind of networking opportunities for youth working in the arts as there are in business and health sciences. Ink Movement was launched
to address that gap.
— Maxwell Tran
Founded in 2012, it currently boasts more than 80 active volunteers across Mississauga, Hamilton and Montreal. Tran has an ambitious plan to "scale up" with new chapters on the west coast, beginning in Vancouver.
Volunteer team members regularly host arts education events for local youth. To date, Ink Movement has provided experiential programming for more than 600 young people in Ontario and Quebec.
In May, the organization collaborated with regional partners Big Brothers Big Sisters, Seva Food Bank and Our Place Peel (a youth shelter in Mississauga) to host Art & Soul Initiative — a one-day event that saw youth join forces to develop creative materials for non-profit community organizations.
"Art can often be a solitary pursuit," said Tran. "It's nice to be around like-minded people, and help facilitate connections between young artists, mentors and community partners. Our end goal is to encourage youth to express themselves and apply the arts as tools for social change."
Tran aspires to become a clinician-scientist upon graduation. He wants to do more writing about pressing health challenges, and explore the potential of art to improve health care. He's also committed to growing Ink Movement, and hopes to do a lot more creative writing in the future.