2018 Youth Initiative Grant Adjudication Committee: (left to right) Kayla Caruana, Mitch LaRue, Emma White, Wyatt Slattery and Molly Raposo. Submitted photo

Youth led projects in the Okanagan receive funding

Projects based in the Central and South Okanagan supported with grants

The Central Okanagan Foundation for Youth and United Way’s GenNext contributed $9,055 to support seven youth led projects based in the Central and South Okanagan.

These grants are available to young people up to age 25 who are partnering with an organization to create positive change in their local community.

“We are amazed by the creativity and community spirit demonstrated by these young people. We can’t wait to watch the projects as they develop. Future community leaders in our midst,” said Helen Jackman, executive director of the United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen.

Related: United Way invests more than $460,000 in South Okanagan

The awards ranged from $250 to $2,000.

The Youth Initiative Grant recipients for 2018 are:

– Call Home, Enactus Okanagan College (Kelowna)

– More LGBTQ+ Friends, Etcetera – The Bridge Youth and Family Services (Kelowna)

– Hyphen Project Gardening Initiative, SD53 (Oliver)

– Take Two, Interact Club as part of the Rotary Club of Kelowna Ogopogo (Kelowna)

– Intergenerational Computer Literacy, Peachland Wellness Centre (Peachland)

– Silver Surfers, Enactus Okanagan College (Kelowna)

– Women’s Shelter Clothing Drive, Aberdeen Hall (Kelowna)

“These grants encourage initiatives led by community members who are 25 and under. It’s really exciting to see the projects that they can undertake with modest financial support,” said Joanne Carey, co-ordinator of grants and community Initiatives at the Central Okanagan Foundation.

An example is the Etcetera Project — which offers a safe space for youth 11 to 18 years who meet weekly with the support of a staff member from The Bridge Youth and Family Services.

“It’s hard for kids who are LGBTQ+ to have a safe place sometimes and to tell people they need help, and Etcetera can help them. We want marketing about Etcetera so people will come check it out,” said Adrian Perez Ara, co-ordinator of the Etcetera Program.

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