Youth Opportunities Fund supports 39 nonprofit projects with over $12M in grants

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Monday, April 16, 2018
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Thanks to the Youth Opportunities Fund, 39 nonprofit projects across Ontario will receive more than $12 million.

Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services announced the grants at Young and Potential Fathers, a Youth Opportunities Fund grantee, in Toronto today.

Young and Potential Fathers is Canada’s first father-centric family centre that makes a positive difference in the lives of African Canadian fathers and children. The nonprofit program was one of the first grantees to receive funding through YOF.

“The Youth Opportunities Fund grant for Young and Potential Fathers has been so important, and it’s making a positive difference in the lives of African Canadian fathers and children. As Canada’s first father-centric family centre, we work to empower fathers in an environment where they learn and grow together with their children and other fathers. Kids need their fathers, families need fathers, and the community, the province and the country need them.” Ed Gough Jr., Program Coordinator, Young and Potential Fathers.   

Black Physicians of Tomorrow, a not-for-profit that promotes a diverse health care industry, comprised of health care professionals that mirror the many faces of Canada attended the announcement. The organization was awarded $200,000 through a Youth Opportunities Fund and Ontario Black Youth Action Plan partnership. The YOF receives $1 million annually through OBYAP to support projects focused on skills development programming for Black youth.

"Black Physicians of Tomorrow is an organization dedicated to providing African, Caribbean, Canadian individuals with the tools, resources, and mentorship needed to prepare for, and attain careers in the field of medicine and the allied health professions,” said Michelle De Lyon, Projects & Programs Director, Black Physicians of Tomorrow. “By creating a culture of positive self-image within the community, we envision a revolution, and an awakening in the minds of these individuals, inspiring them to foster a new perception of themselves as they become Black Physicians of Tomorrow. Our organization empowers individuals to feel confident and supported in reaching their highest potential as they pursue careers in medicine, and the allied health professions."

In support of a national campaign that shares Indigenous Youth stories about overcoming hardships, the We Matter Campaign received $210,000 to empower their community by demonstrating that there is a way forward through difficult experiences.

"We Matter is so excited about expanding our capacity and operations with the help of the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Tunchai Redvers, Co-Founder & National Programs Director, We Matter. “Building the We Matter Ontario Regional Support Network will build deeper and more meaningful relationships with Indigenous youth, and their communities, while fostering meaningful relationships, and important discussions around mental health, and life promotion between youth, peers, and communities."

Youth Opportunities Fund grantees provide projects that inspire youth by finding creative outlets for youth facing multiple barriers, promoting STEM education for racialized communities, and ensuring that Indigenous youth know their voices are heard.

“The Youth Opportunities Fund has grown along with the youth it supports in establishing projects created by, led by, and for our youth,” said Tim Jackson, Board Chair, Ontario Trillium Foundation. “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.”

The Youth Opportunities Fund was launched in 2013 as part of the province's $55-million enhanced Ontario Youth Action Plan. Since then, the Youth Opportunities Fund has supported 154-youth-led projects with over $41.3 million in funding.

“I am delighted that over $12 million dollars in funding is being awarded through the Youth Opportunities Fund this year,” said Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services. “These innovative, grassroots projects give young people across the province exciting opportunities to engage with their communities and learn new skills to help them succeed.”


  • Since its launch in 2013, the Youth Opportunities Fund has awarded over $41.3 million to 154 youth-led groups potentially benefitting over 146,000 youth.
  • This year, 39 nonprofit projects across Ontario will receive more than $12 million through the Youth Opportunities Fund.
    • 14 projects are led by Indigenous youth
    • 17 projects are led by Black youth
    • Youth Opportunities Fund projects are also led by and created for youth with disabilities or special needs, youth living in rural or remote communities, racialized youth, newcomer youth, LGBTTQ+ youth, and Francophone youth.
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an arm’s-length agency of the Government of Ontario, administers the Youth Opportunities Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
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Cynthia McQueen
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