United Way Ottawa’s Youth Action Panel awards $30,000
This year the “York Street Ultimate March Break Camp” was created by youth between the ages of 13 and 19, giving youngsters in the Lowertown neighbourhood an experience that every child is entitled to, but one that these children might not otherwise get. This is just one of 14 community projects created and led by young people that are receiving funding through United Way’s Youth Action Grant program.
Mentored by the Lowertown Community Resource Centre, this project connected children ages 6 to 12 living in a low-income Ottawa neighbourhood with fun, engaging, educational and recreational full-day programming throughout the March break, free of charge.
Not only was this a week filled with unforgettable experiences for the children in the neighbourhood, it was an invaluable learning opportunity for the youth volunteers involved in planning and hosting the camp. They gained experience as leaders, role models and mentors in their community. Muhammad Zaman, one of the youth leaders of this initiative had this to say about the camp, “Programs like ULTIMATE bring a unique focus of connecting children with exciting recreational activities in underprivileged areas. This program helps level the playing field and ensures that at-risk children have barrier-free access to the diverse and vast forms of recreational activities which are offered throughout the city.”
The purpose of United Way’s Youth Action Grants is to provide Ottawa youth with an outlet for positive community involvement. Each project must be led and managed by youth, between the ages of 13 and 19, designed to benefit children and youth and mentored by an adult. The individual projects receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.
There are many more events still to be held throughout the year with the help of the Youth Action Grants program, including:
- Project Acorn: a four-day leadership camp for LGBT youth aged 16 to 24 hosted by the Ten Oaks Project.
- Play it Forward: Facilitated by the Somerset West Community Health Centre, Play It Forward provides youth from the Mechanicsville/Hintonburg community with barrier free access to new musical instruments and will allow for participant led musical instruction.
- A Multicultural Family Fun Day will also be held by youth from the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa.
Congratulations to the youth who are helping to make positive and lasting change in our neighbourhoods and in the community.
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