Youth are innovative, determined, and visionary. With support from their peers and community specialists, and armed with new knowledge and service learning, we anticipate that 450+ youth will engage in 72 project community service and volunteer action projects in 6 or more communities across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2022.
Youth with no strategy for volunteerism or knowledge of community service give 10% fewer hours each year than their peers with knowledge. When they leave high school, youth with barriers to engagement and obstacles to inclusion not only give fewer hours they are less likely to use volunteerism as a tool to build employment skills, connections to community, and to engage in positive risk-taking (VV Youth Legacy Report 2016). Youth who live in rural communities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast face additional challenges and have access to fewer opportunities than those who live in urban areas.
Youth 20/20 Can ensures that youth participants identify local, regional, or Island wide needs, co-create projects with community, work with other diverse youth and specialists in their communities and across the Island and Sunshine Coast, and lead and manage projects that have meaning to youth and impact on community.
Individual youth will work towards 120 hours of engagement and learning within the space of one year, but they will have the flexibility to determine how and when they contribute.
Youth will also report back to community to let community know why they have chosen to host their projects/activities and their impact. Each project or event will be planned and managed by youth with the support of local Youth Engagement Workers, who are also available to support individual youth to build their strategic volunteering plans.
The projects or activities will be co-created and co-hosted in partnership with neighbourhoods, community groups, or organizations, and may include participation from children, youth, and adults not directly involved in the project. A small budget may be provided for projects/activities as seed money and youth and community can work together to build additional cash and in-kind support for initiatives.
Youth participants will receive 3 types of training focused on: Volunteer recruitment and coordination; Employment planning to learn how to ladder their skills and translate volunteer language into employment language; and community development training to ensure that they will have new skills to build community and connect to community.
The training projects and activities will help youth build pre-employment and early employment skills, make connections with potential champions and employers in community, and have real life experiences and references to add to their resumes.
This project will:
• Provide a diverse group of youth with a meaningful, committed service opportunity allowing them to develop and enhance their personal and professional skills;
• Provide opportunities for youth to have the life-changing and inspiring experience of being a volunteer while working to create a more caring, inclusive, and compassionate society for the future;
• Increase civic and community engagement amongst youth, especially underrepresented youth such as those in rural and remote areas and those with barriers to engagement, highlighting the impact of youth engagement to the broader community;
• Assist youth participants in co-creating and implementing innovative service opportunities that address the unique needs of their community, including culturally diverse initiatives; and
• Create opportunities for youth to engage in their community
Youth 20/20 Can is funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps Program.