Young Adult Retention and Engagement in Minden Hills


Young Adult Retention and Engagement in Minden Hills


Sarah Cumming
Lindsay Dixon

Host Organization

Township of Minden Hills, Emily Stonehouse

Supervising Faculty

Derya Tarhan, International Development Studies

Reference Number




Location of Document



Township of Minden Hills


Youth Retention & Engagement


Over 2019-20, Fourth Year Trent International Development Studies (IDST) students Sarah Cumming and Lindsay Dixon undertook a full-term, large-scale research project on how to better engage and retain the young adult population in Minden Hills.

Hosted by the Township of Minden Hills (Emily Stonehouse) and supervised by IDST faculty Derya Terhan, students gathered and analyzed data from their literature review, a 2019 local community consultation, an online survey and several telephone surveys.

This report was designed to equip the Township of Minden Hills with a foundation for up-to-date research and to suggest initiatives as support for change.

Highlights from the Study:

· The top four factors for the study participants in deciding where to live were Employment, Family Ties, the Physical Environment and Housing;

· 59% of participants felt engaged in the community of Minden Hills and the largest group within that (46%), only felt somewhat engaged;

· Leaving their community to go to high school in Haliburton means young adults in other townships may start feeling disconnected from an early age;

· Recreational programming for young adults was seen as limited, and often geared towards the senior population and during working hours;

· A shortage of evening entertainment activities led to feelings of isolation;

· There is a lack of formal support systems for youth employment in the County;

· Increased internet access was identified by several survey participants in the open-ended questions - as “what is important to this age group is the ability to network easily”;

· While literature findings did not find it to be a significant factor in attracting young adults, study participants felt as though Minden Hill’s natural beauty and rural location had a positive influence in their decision where to live.

Page 35 of the report includes a table of recommendations that the Township of Minden Hills can consider in their strategic planning going forward.


Trent University



Sarah Cumming
Lindsay Dixon, Young Adult Retention and Engagement in Minden Hills, Trent University, 2020