Helping Youth Succeed Across Ontario – Province Investing In Grassroots Support, Mentorship and Skill-Building Projects
Province Investing In Grassroots Support, Mentorship and Skill-Building Projects
April 16, 2018
Ontario is supporting new opportunities for youth across the province to engage with their communities, build healthy relationships, learn new skills and achieve academic and career success.
Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, was at Young and Potential Fathers in Toronto today to make the announcement. Young and Potential Fathers was one of the first organizations to receive support through the Youth Opportunities Fund when it was created five years ago.
This year, a total of 39 projects are receiving support through the Fund, offering:
- Skills training in science, technology, engineering and math to help youth pursue careers in fields like medicine and aviation.
- Mentorship in arts, culture, music and media.
- Workshops, resources and peer support to help youth build supportive and healthy relationships.
- Programs specially designed for Indigenous, racialized, newcomer and LGBT2SQ youth.
Helping children and youth in communities across the province succeed is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and easier access to affordable child care.
- Ontario is investing more than $12 million this year to fund 39 projects through the Ontario Youth Opportunities Fund, which will be delivered by grassroots, youth-led, community-based organizations. They will serve communities including Cochrane, Hamilton, Moose Factory, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peterborough, Sudbury, Thames Valley, Thunder Bay, Timiskaming, Timmins and Toronto.
- Since its launch in 2013, the Youth Opportunities Fund has provided approximately $41 million to 154 youth-led groups benefitting over 146,000 youth across the province.
- Grants are awarded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation based on how well projects address outcomes in Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed.
- The Youth Opportunities Fund is part of the province’s $55-million enhanced Ontario Youth Action Plan, Ontario’s largest investment to date to help children and youth in high-priority communities across the province.
- Under the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, the Youth Opportunities Fund has increased by $1 million annually to support projects focused on skills development programming for Black youth.
- The application period for next year’s grants will launch this summer.
“Local groups best understand the unique needs of youth in their communities and the kinds of support they need most. That’s why our government has partnered with these grassroots organizations to offer new opportunities for youth to build the connections, communities and skills they need to achieve success in their interpersonal relationships, at school and in their careers.”
Minister of Children and Youth Services
“We Matter is so excited to be able to expand our capacity with the help of a Youth Opportunities Fund grant. It will allow us to build more meaningful relationships with Indigenous youth, and foster important discussions around mental health between youth, peers, and communities.”
Co-Founder & National Programs Director, We Matter
“By creating a culture of positive self-image, Black Physicians of Tomorrow is dedicated to empowering individuals to feel confident and supported in reaching their highest potential as they pursue careers in medicine and the allied health professions.”
Michelle De Lyon
Projects & Programs Director, Black Physicians of Tomorrow
“The Youth Opportunities Fund has grown along with the youth it supports in establishing projects created by, led by, and for our youth. The Ontario Trillium Foundation is proud to administer this fund on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to ensure our future leaders get the support they need.”
Board Chair, Ontario Trillium Foundation
Melissa Di Costanzo