Youth Opportunities Fund

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$263,600 over 48 months to connect urban Aboriginal youth with Elders, their peers and adult mentors while engaging them in land-based and cultural learning in Toronto. Through these new relationships, young people will deepen their understanding of indigenous knowledge and will learn to apply indigenous knowledge to a range of activities. Youth will be supported to lead nature tours, cultural ceremonies, and increase indigenous presence on urban lands through restoration and planting.

$300,000 over 36 months to deliver the Violence Intervention (VIA) Ambassadors Project in four communities in East Scarborough. Youth in the program will receive capacity building and training in life and pro-social skills, violence prevention and intervention. During the final year of this project, VIA’s will be part of a Scarborough Wide Youth Council that will be dedicated to leadership, violence intervention and community safety.

$129,900 over 36 months to deliver a peer mentorship project that will provide positive role models to at-risk youth in high three risk communities. Each week, youth will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, engage in the arts, and collaboratively prepare nutritious meals with mentors. The program will provide year-long supportive programming once a week for youth 12– 20 years old who are affected by parental imprisonment.

$71,900 over 24 months to pilot a mentorship and leadership program that focuses on girls’ empowerment through critical engagement with information communication technology (ICT), social media and community building in virtual and physical settings. Funds will be used to hire one youth program coordinator, to deliver weekly engagement sessions, and to build a virtual platform for digital youth engagement.

$100,300 over 24 months to deliver a program that develops the skills and capacity of racialized youth through mentorship, training, education, and positive relationships. S.W.A.G.(Success with Age and Guidance) is comprised of a group of young men under 30 years old all from the Region of Peel. Funds will support two 13-week mentorship sessions a year for youth aged 12 to 21 in the Peel Region.

$210,000 over 36 months to work collaboratively with community partners, including the Toronto District School Board, to bring social, recreational and academic supports to middle-school youth in order reduce the achievement gap and connect young people to opportunities and experiences that will foster new skills, new relationships and expanded horizons. Funding will be used to hire one youth coordinator, to recruit and train 20 youth mentors, and to deliver mentorship and educational supports in a school setting in the Jane Finch neighbourhood in Toronto.

$181,700 over 36 months to create two to three neighbourhood spaces where young people can meet, make new friends, experience a sense of belonging, and gain leadership skills. High school aged youth in North Burlington will secure and animate these spaces with the support of adult allies. Funds will be used to support youth-led activities within the new neighbourhood spaces.

$70,800 over 24 months to deliver two cycles of a twelve-week music-based stress management course for 20 young people. This program will focus on youth who have experiences with the justice system and who are living in low-income situations in priority neighbourhoods in Toronto. Through the weekly sessions, young people will improve their mental health as they learn to identify triggers and building cope skills with the help of music. Funds will be used to hire youth leaders, to engage peer mentors, to deliver the weekly music sessions and to produce a final video trailer.

$32,000 over 12 months to create a safe community space for LGBTTQ youth through a free weekly drop-in writing group. Funding will be used to provide an honorarium to three youth leaders, for youth outreach in Ajax-Pickering and to rent a consistent space for the weekly sessions.

$140,000 over 24 months to deliver an initiative called TechSpark that will address the challenges racialized and newcomer youth face, by using innovative technology based programming. The TechSpark program will aim to remove existing barriers to employment by providing youth with access to professional mentors, and the skills needed to obtain and maintain high demand jobs in the technology sector.

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