Ottawa Youth Receive Grants For Community Projects

Friday, June 1, 2012
Ottawa, ON

United Way Ottawa’s Youth Action Panel awards $30,000 in Grants for Youth-Led Projects

United Way Ottawa today announced that 14 community projects, created and led by young people, received funding through United Way’s Youth Action Grant program. The individual projects receive grants ranging from $1,000 and $2,500.

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, and designed to benefit children and youth.  Each project team must also secure an adult mentor and submit a report on the results of their project.

The United Way Youth Action Panel, a group of young people ages 13 to 19, volunteer their time to review and evaluate the grant proposals received by United Way through an open call for proposals.  The Panel then makes recommendations for funding to United Way’s Community Services Cabinet, which is responsible for the final funding approvals.

“We are delighted to award grants to all of these amazing projects empowering young people to make change happen in our community,” said Lawrence Greenspon, Chair of United Way’s Community Services Cabinet. “The Youth Action Grants are often a young person’s first introduction to the many rewards of getting involved. The grants give them the chance to make their creative ideas a reality and to experience first-hand how they can make an important difference in our community.”

One of the 14 projects, called Play it Forward, facilitated by the Somerset West Community Health Centre, provides youth from the Mechanicsville/Hintonburg area with barrier free access to new musical instruments and participant led musical instruction. Play it Forward is part of an existing youth drop-in program funded by TELUS. To date, approximately 15 youth have participated in the program.  On Sunday, June 3, at 11:30 a.m., three of the youth will perform their newly learned songs at the 4th Annual Laroche Park barbeque, sponsored by Somerset West Community Health Centre.  The barbeque is located at 52 Bayview Road and activities run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A second project, called Project Acorn, will be organized through Ten Oaks Project, an agency serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender (LGBT) communities. It is a four-day (July 19 to 22) community building space for youth aged 16-24 who come from LGBT identities, families and communities. Offering a mixture of workshops, speakers and typical camp activities, the project will bring youth together to share their skills and knowledge. It is also aimed at building the connections that will empower them to pursue social justice and community building in their everyday lives. United Way funds support the youth advisory committee that plans and facilitates Project Acorn.

For more details on the 14 projects please contact United Way.

About United Way Ottawa
United Way Ottawa’s mission is to bring people and resources together to build a strong, healthy, safe community for all. We are best known for our work raising and distributing funds to community agencies that help people. But our true business is engagement, providing ways for contributors — be they donors, partners or others — to achieve their aspirations for our community through United Way. Our purpose is to improve people’s lives today and to create enduring, measurable and meaningful social change in our community.

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Barry Keegan, Manager Media Relations and Communications
United Way Ottawa
Phone: 613-228-6709; Mobile: 613-294-8128
E-mail: bkeegan@unitedwayottawa.ca
Twitter: @barry_keegan