Last year, Caitlin Diakow started volunteering at the BYTE office. At the time, Caitlin was a grade 12 Porter Creek Secondary student who needed to complete a certain amount of volunteer hours for credit, and she chose to help out at BYTE.
Rather than have Caitlin help Chris with spreadsheets, we encouraged her to pursue a project she felt passionate about. She successfully applied for funding from the Yukon Government’s Health and Social Services department to publish her own magazine, which she hoped would to help high school students like herself achieve mental and physical wellbeing.
“There are tons of magazines out there that use the tactic of making people feel bad about themselves in order to promote something, and this has a huge impact on how we view ourselves,” says Caitlin. “I wanted to make this ‘zine in order to promote mind and body positivity and to challenge the perspective that many fashion magazines have nowadays.”
On top of doing exams, finishing homework, and getting ready for Grad, Caitlin worked hard on her magazine all year. As of a few weeks ago, the printed version of her ‘zine arrived in the BYTE office. Empower the People is now online and in print!
“My favourite part of the process, although also stressful, was definitely when the photo shoots came into play because it made me realize that the ‘zine was actually going to come together,” says Caitlin.
Christian Kuntz Photography was responsible for the photo shoot, and the results are fantastic. Caitlin wrote the articles and designed the quizzes for the magazine, and her friend Natalie Hudson-Carrigan did the graphic design. You can enjoy Caitlin’s magazine online here, or pick up a paper copy at the BYTE office.
Caitlin says her passion for writing and promoting body positivity inspired to do this project. Although there are currently no plans for another edition of Empower the People, Caitlin’s not opposed to the idea:
“I would love to see or do another edition of Empower the People!” says Caitlin. “Why not put our passions and talents to good use, right?”
Caitlin is currently in Tanzania with the Canada World Youth program, but is excited to see the printed version of her magazine when she returns.
Congratulations, Caitlin, on all your hard work!