TORONTO, ON – YMCA Canada is pleased to announce $4 million in funding through the Government of Canada’s Support for Students Learning program (SSLP) to support increased access to the YMCA Youth Transitions Program (YTP) at 22 YMCA sites across the country.
This funding will make it possible for the YMCA to empower 4,000 students across Canada to reach their fullest potential, by building their capacity to engage and succeed in their educational studies and transition to higher levels of education. Through flexible and inclusive workshops and individualized supports, YTP’s youth-centered, strength-based approach addresses critical risk factors to student success. YTP also aims to strengthen and enhance each student’s social network and foster a sense of belonging through comprehensive mentorship, counselling, and mental wellbeing supports and activities.
The YMCA YTP was started at the YMCA of Northern Alberta to respond to the needs they were seeing in their community. "When our team at YMCA of Northern Alberta developed this program in Edmonton 30 years ago, we served about 25 youth annually. Now we are privileged to serve more than 300 youth annually — at the Y, in junior and senior high schools, and at other community agencies in Edmonton, Red Deer, and Grande Prairie,” said Nick Parkinson, President & CEO, YMCA of Northern Alberta. “The chance to learn life skills from positive mentors, connect with peers, and discover what they're capable of has been life-changing for so many of these youth. We are very proud to see YTP expand beyond central and northern Alberta across Canada."
Recognizing this need exists in other communities, the financial support from Employment and Social Development Canada will allow the YMCA to expand access to the program to 22 sites across Canada. “At the YMCA, we believe every young person is worthy of the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Peter Dinsdale, President and CEO, YMCA Canada. “This program recognizes the systemic factors that make it harder for some students to succeed. With this funding, we can provide even more young people with the knowledge, tools, and support to help them achieve their goals, and put them on a path to the future they deserve.”
“Young Canadians deserve to reach their full potential. Access to mentorship, counselling, and wellbeing supports are essential to helping youth attain higher levels of education. The YMCA’s Youth Transitions Program will provide students with critical assistance to ensure success in their chosen field. Through the Support for Students Learning Program, our Government is committed to supporting organizations that empower youth to pursue fulfilling careers,” remarked Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough.
The YMCA YTP will be delivered by the following YMCA Member Associations:
- YMCA of Newfoundland & Labrador
- YMCA Greater Halifax/Dartmouth
- YMCA Greater Moncton
- YMCA of Greater Toronto
- YMCA Southwestern Ontario
- YMCA Southwest Nova Scotia
- YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford
- YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
- YMCA of Northern Alberta
- YMCA of Medicine Hat
- YMCA of Saskatoon
- YMCA of BC