Youth Opportunities Fund invests $14M in projects benefiting youth and families
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has announced the newest grant recipients of the Youth Opportunities Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. These investments will play a significant role in improving the wellbeing of youth and families, and specifically for Indigenous and Black communities.
The Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) invests in projects that are led by youth or parents, guardians and caregivers who share identities, experiences, and face the same systemic barriers as the people who will benefit from the project.
This year, OTF is announcing a total of 42 projects that are receiving $14.2 million of YOF funding through its three streams:
- 22 Youth Innovations Stream projects are receiving close to $6.2 million
- 16 Family Innovations Stream projects are receiving over $4.4 million
- 4 System Innovations Stream projects are receiving over $3.6 million
Explore the grants awarded list.
YOF projects generate impact across the province, from city centres, rural communities, to Northern and remote communities.
The widest range of youth-led projects this year, funded in both large and small communities, are led by and for Indigenous and Black young people to create safe spaces and build strong community and cultural connections. These projects aim to help young people build a sense of self, heal from trauma, develop skills, and connect with other Indigenous and Black young people who share similar identities and experiences.
This can play a significant role in fostering a sense of belonging and creating change makers, particularly in communities where there’s fewer opportunities to engage and heal in ways that are relevant and respectful.
Many projects funded this year are also led by and for parents, guardians and caregivers to help strengthen their capacity to navigate, access and influence the systems that affect family well-being. These systems include education, child welfare, justice and health care.
“Supporting Black and Indigenous communities through investments in grassroot groups and collaboratives leads to opportunities and solutions created by and for the people it impacts. These projects will help create safe spaces, empower youth to lead initiatives, increase access to employment programs and resources for economic stability, and address racism and its impact on youth. As an agency of the Ontario government, 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.
Since 2013, YOF has invested close to $96M to 315 local groups who are inspired to find solutions to issues facing young people and families. Funded projects aim to drive positive change in their communities by exploring different approaches, testing new ideas, and working collectively to strengthen systems so they work better for those it impacts.
- 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 $95M to 315 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.