Youth Opportunities Fund supports 38 projects with $13.5 M

A photo of a group of young friends smiling in an urban outdoor setting.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has announced the 10th round of grant recipients for the Youth Opportunities Fund, a program administered on behalf of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. With a focus on addressing systemic barriers, these new grants support grassroots groups and collaboratives that prioritize Indigenous and Black communities as they deliver projects to help improve the social and economic wellbeing of youth and families across Ontario.

The Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) invests in projects led by youth or parents, guardians and caregivers who face the same systemic barriers as the people who will benefit from these projects. Since 2013, YOF has invested close to $110 million in 353 grassroots groups and collaboratives that are creating solutions to issues facing young people and families.

This year, OTF is pleased to announce YOF’s 10th round of grants as $13.5 million is awarded to 38 projects. These projects will play a critical role in meeting the diverse needs of youth and families across the province. The grants awarded include:

  • 19 Youth Innovations Stream projects are receiving more than $6 million
  • 14 Family Innovations Stream projects are receiving close to $4.5 million
  • 5 System Innovations Stream projects are receiving close to $3 million

Explore the grants awarded list.

The Hon. Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services announced this year’s YOF grant recipients in Scarborough on May 12, 2023. Read more about the Ontario government’s grant announcement.

Whether they are creating safe spaces to build strong community and cultural connections for youth, or helping parents navigate the education or child welfare systems, YOF grantees develop projects with innovative approaches with a focus on Black and Indigenous communities.

“The Youth Opportunities Fund invests in youth and families to identify and create opportunities in their communities for connection, shared experiences and improved social and economic wellbeing. The projects supported by YOF create culturally anchored pathways for leadership and engagement from young people and families across the province. OTF is pleased to administer this fund on behalf of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to support Ontario’s youth and families,” said Katharine Bambrick, CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The 2022-2023 grant recipients include:

  • Maamawi, meaning “together” in Anishnaabe, received a $255,000 Youth Innovations grant. Their project aims to enhance the longstanding connection between the Anishinabek and Haudenosaunee nations by inviting youth of both nations to embrace their own cultures and that of the other. The project will create pathways for the youth participants to feel more connected to their culture, heritage, ceremonies, land, and nationhood.
  • A $254,900 Family Innovations grant was awarded to Be the Change (BTC). This project supports Black parents and families to confidently navigate the education system through an Anti-Black Racism lens in Simcoe County. BTC will work with newcomers, Black parents and families experiencing isolation or feelings of being unseen or unheard when trying to interact with school administrators by equipping them with resources to support their children and enhance their knowledge of the school system.
  • Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services received a $500,000 System Innovations grant. With their collaborative partners, they will engage in a province-wide effort to train and engage youth in data stewardship to improve outcomes for First Nations children, youth and families. Through this project, youth will ensure their stories reflect their cultural journey, and provide purposeful data that will, by design, benefit youth while respecting First Nations data sovereignty.

Quick facts

  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario with a mission to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. OTF administers the Youth Opportunities Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
  • Since 2013, YOF has awarded close to $110 million to 353 projects aimed at improving the wellbeing of youth, and families facing barriers across Ontario.
  • The Youth Innovations Stream provides young people facing systemic barriers with the resources they need to design and deliver inspiring solutions to issues that matter to them.
  • The Family Innovations Stream invests in the work of grassroots groups delivering culturally anchored projects that empower and support parents, guardians and caregivers.
  • The System Innovations Stream supports collaboratives that are strengthening the quality and responsiveness of systems, so they work better for youth facing systemic barriers.