Youth United 2015-16 grants: for youth, by youth.

The United Way Youth United Council awarded more than $17,000 in grants for youth-led projects in 2015-16 that contributed to positive social change in Winnipeg and neighbouring communities.

The Youth United Grants program provides a maximum of $1,000 to projects that are organized, planned, and performed by volunteer youth age 24 and under.

Youth United Grants Committee chose projects that build and strengthen skills in the youth involved and are associated with a school or non-profit community agency.

The Project Pulse conference bridged the gap between high school students interested in pursuing health sciences and people currently working in the field. The conference included keynote speakers, panels, workshops, and information booths. Students had a first-hand opportunity to have questions answered by health care professionals and connect with other students interested in health sciences.

The Project Pulse conference bridged the gap between high school students interested in pursuing health sciences and people currently working in the field. The conference included keynote speakers, panels, workshops, and information booths. Students had a first-hand opportunity to have questions answered by health care professionals and connect with other students interested in health sciences.

Grants Committee co-chair Julia Stoyko says they carefully consider all grant applications they receive.

“Our most important criterion is that a project be led by youth, and it is really inspiring for us to get to see the work that youth in Winnipeg are able to accomplish,” said Julia.

Go here to check out summaries of all 18 grants awarded during the 2015-16 Youth United grant program season.

Peaceful Village's Sawa Theatre is a summer program aimed at fostering inclusion, creativity and personal growth among Syrian youth. The program connects newcomer youth with youth who have lived in Winnipeg for several years, helping overcome obstacles and creating lifelong friendships.

Peaceful Village’s Sawa Theatre is a summer program aimed at fostering inclusion, creativity and personal growth among Syrian youth. The program connects newcomer youth with youth who have lived in Winnipeg for several years, helping overcome obstacles and creating lifelong friendships.

The next round of Youth United Grants program applications will start this fall. Stay tuned!

You can also learn more about United Way’s Youth United here.

Youth Day of Caring 2016

Winnipeg youth show they care at 15 agencies.

More than 100 Winnipeg high school students gathered at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre at Win Gardner Place and boarded busses for the annual United Way Youth Day of Caring.

web-IMG_1699

The students gave their time and sweat equity to make improvements at 15 different agencies around Winnipeg on Friday.

Before they departed they heard about the work of their host, Ma Mawi, from Lorenda Nepinak, a Home Visitor with the Families First Program. She had some parting words of wisdom for the young volunteers.

“Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.”

web-IMG_1682

At the North End Women’s Centre several students wielded bags and pickers to clean garbage from the centres yards.

The United Way agency partner provides a multitude of services including counselling, drop-in, addictions recovery and transitional housing.

North End Women's Centre's Marissa Rykiss talks to youth before they start work.

North End Women’s Centre’s Marissa Rykiss talks to youth before they start work.

“Thank you so much, we really appreciate it,” Marissa Rykiss, a parent-child coordinator at the centre told the youth before they started cleaning up the garden and yards around their buildings.

Cleaning up around the North End Women's Centre

Cleaning up around the North End Women’s Centre

“It’s really inspiring to see the youth doing it, we all want a more beautiful Winnipeg,” she said.

web-IMG_1725

At Dufferin School Community Garden students placed and filled new raised garden beds and prepared existing ones for planting. The garden is used by newcomers that have been helped through Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM).

Jim Beckta, Greening Coordinator with IRCOM, said the students are helping meet the demand for more gardening space for newcomers.

“It’s wonderful. It’s very helpful,” said Jim.

Student EJ had some trouble hoisting a full wheelbarrow into a new garden bed, but thankfully was not hurt.

Youth helped prepare garden beds for newcomers at the Dufferin School Community Garden

Youth helped prepare garden beds for newcomers at the Dufferin School Community Garden

“I feel glad. I feel happy. It’s for them,” EJ said of his day volunteering.

At Graffiti Art Programming students from Elmwood High School painted the outside walls black to get them ready for more artwork by youth involved in the agency’s art programs.

“I feel honoured that I get to do this, I appreciate that my teacher asked me to.” said Denise Cal Ortiz.

Resetting a canvas on Graffiti Art Programming's building.

Resetting a canvas on Graffiti Art Programming’s building.

Jessie Canard, a summer administrative assistant at Graffiti Art, said she hopes more youth learn about their free art programming.

“It’s really awesome to have these youth come down here as a lot of them haven’t been here before. And it’s awesome to have the help.”

Corey Mohr, Community Development Coordinator at NorWest Co-op Community Health’s Gilbert Park Resource Centre, said the students from Gray Academy of Jewish Education who spent two hours sweating in one of their community gardens were thanked by some area residents.

Teacher Marcelo Mohadeb (left) and his students from Gray Academy of Jewish Education with NorWest Community Development Coordinator Corey Mohr.

Teacher Marcelo Mohadeb (left) and his students from Gray Academy of Jewish Education with NorWest Community Development Coordinator Corey Mohr.

“That’s powerful. That’s what I like to see, that people are appreciative.”

Student Ilan Jacobowitz said people like himself are often unfamiliar with communities like Gilbert Park – Manitoba’s largest social housing complex with 1,100 residents.

“It’s nice to see organizations like United Way and resource centres like (NorWest) helping out in communities,” said Ilan, who believes involving youth in the community plants a seed which will grow into more participation and volunteering in the future.

Fellow student Philip Roshkevsky seemed to confirm Ilan’s hypothesis, saying he was proud to be helping and that it makes him “want to do more.”

After a morning helping at agencies the students talked about what community means to them.

They re-fueled with lunch generously donated by Santa Lucia Pizza before heading out again for walking tours of Winnipeg’s North End community led by members of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO).

Youth United Day of Caring volunteers and AYO members outside Ma Mawi at Win Gardner Place.

Youth United Day of Caring volunteers and AYO members outside Ma Mawi at Win Gardner Place.

Look for photos of the day on social media under hashtags #ydoc2016 and #YouthUnitedWpg and learn more about Youth United online.

web-IMG_1736

web-IMG_1707

web-IMG_1701

Apply now for youth scholarships!

Youth United offering Youth Leaders in Action Scholarships.

forweb-Youth-DoC-2014-Rooft

United Way’s volunteer Youth United Council is pleased to offer four $500 Youth Leaders in Action Scholarships to recognize and celebrate the contributions of young community leaders who are making a difference in the lives of others.

The application is downloadable as a PDF with fillable fields and as a Word document:
PDF with fillable fields.
Word document.

PDF poster is also available for printing and advertising the scholarship.

The deadline to apply for a Youth Leaders in Action Scholarship is Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

Recipients will be youth who:

  • Are connected with United Way-funded organizations as participants, volunteers, or staff members.
  • Are 24 years old and under.
  • Have been accepted to attend a post-secondary institution next school year
  • Are leaders when it comes to addressing important community issues, and have inspired others to take action.
  • Are involved with their community at a neighbourhood level.
  • Are in need of financial support.

United Way’s Youth United program is a way for young people 16 to 24 to connect and discover ways to take action on their ideas and create opportunities for a better life for everyone.

For more information contact Samantha Procyshyn, United Way’s Youth United Manager,  at 204-924-4265 or email or sprocyshyn@UnitedWayWinnipeg.mb.ca

Youth-United

Volunteer with Youth United!

Calling open-minded, community-committed young Winnipeggers for an amazing volunteer opportunity!

If you’re looking for a great way to help shape the future of Winnipeg, we’d love if you’d share your energy as a Youth United volunteer!

It’s a chance to use your knowledge and talents, and grow your leadership and problem solving skills.

As a Youth United Volunteer, you will:

  • Work with other youth volunteers to plan & participate in events that get youth involved in our community
  • Interact with United Way’s agency partners and learn about the great things they do for our city
  • Represent youth at United Way Winnipeg events, like Campaign Celebration
  • Commit approx 6 hours/month, including 2 hour monthly meetings

You’re a dependable team player who:

  • Has leadership experience
  • Is 16-24 years old
  • Is open-minded and inclusive
  • Is committed to creating a community where everyone has the opportunity to succeed

Youth United Volunteers represent Winnipeg’s diversity and guide United Way’s Youth Engagement Strategy. By giving grants to youth-initiated community projects and hosting events like our Leadership Conference, we create opportunities for youth to get involved in the community. We celebrate youth who are already involved in their communities by giving scholarships and awards.

We are looking for new Youth United Volunteers to join our team in late August. If you’d like to volunteer, or just want more information, please email Samantha, our Youth United manager, or phone her at 204-924-4265.

It’s amazing what young Winnipeggers can do when you believe in their ideas & abilities.

Youth United funds youth-led volunteer projects in Winnipeg, and there are some great ones coming up!

If you have an idea for a volunteer project, check out the criteria & application deadlines.

Let's Talk Science Challenge

Having fun with STEM at the Let’s Talk Science Challenge.

Collège Béliveau: Béliveau Health and Wellness

Student leaders from Collège Béliveau will organize, plan and execute activities and learning session for a school-wide Health and Wellness day. The Health and Wellness day will be open to all students and will focus on positive self-esteem, leadership abilities and community awareness.

Let’s Talk Science: Let’s Talk Science Challenge

Every year students in grade six to eight are invited to the University of Manitoba to participate in the Let’s Talk Science Challenge, a Jeopardy-style quiz show with a design challenge component and mentorship opportunities.

Students compete on teams and are quizzed on their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The objective of this project is to increase scientific literacy among school-aged children and to expose them to the possibility of considering a postsecondary education in STEM.

Let's Talk Science Challenge!

Let's Talk Science Challenge!

Manitoba Chinese Youth Committee: Cultural Arts Night 2015

Cultural Arts Night 2015 is a festive evening honouring the many diverse cultural communities located in our city. Local performers and cultural teachers of all backgrounds are invited to share their culture and pride through performances and teachings.

Cultural Arts Night 2015 is a celebration that creates a space for audience members to learn about the diversity of our city while developing a greater awareness of our local ethnic communities.

Making Waves Winnipeg: Making Waves Winnipeg Summer Camp Program 2015

Making Waves Winnipeg Summer Camp is a student led initiative that provides children with disabilities the opportunity to attend a summer camp tailored exclusively to their needs. Camp instructors work individually with the campers to create a positive and engaging experience for them. After the weekly one-on-one swimming lessons, there will be additional activities for campers such as arts and crafts, bowling and archery.

Sisler High School: Annual Sustainability Conference

Over 100 students from all over Winnipeg will be invited to attend the Annual Sustainability Conference at Sisler High School. The goal of this conference is to educate students about environmental issues and what students can do to take action.

There will be multiple guest speakers, ranging from local farmers to environmental researchers that will share their experiences and knowledge with attendees. Students involved in the planning of the conference will also be hosting workshops about the environmental initiatives that Sisler employs.

Sisler High School: Franconnexion

Sisler High School will be inviting approximately 200 French immersion students to attend Franconnexion, a day dedicated to promoting the benefits of bilingualism in our community, city, province and our country.

Students will practice their French communication skills through workshops like improvisation, discussions and debates about bilingualism, a scavenger hunt pertaining to Franco-Manitoban culture and traditional French voyageur activities, all of which will be led and facilitated by members of the French Immersion Council at Sisler High School.

These activities are designed to inspire and encourage students to continue using French not only as a skill, but as a way of life through theatre, culture, critical thinking, and sports.

Youth United challenge you to 50 not-so-random acts of positivity.

Youth United invited over 100 students from across the city to get to know other passionate young activists at this year’s Student Leadership Conference.

Youth United Student Leadership Conference.

Among the inspirations of the day was a list of ’50 Challenges’ (PDF)—fifty ideas celebrating everyday positivity, environmental responsibility, and public empathy.

Students at the Student Leadership Conference.

Students taking on Challenge #15: “Say hi to a student you don’t know yet.” Sounds small, right? But this simple act of openness can help connect us to our schools, our neighbours, and our communities.

Run a food drive. Put down your phone. Smile. Plant a tree. Share you seat on the bus. All small actions that make the day—or the future—better for other Winnipeggers.

50 Challenges to make Winnipeg a better community.

Young leaders learned about the Youth United Grant (PDF), up to $1000 awarded throughout the year to people under 25 connected to a school or nonprofit to fund projects that help children reach their potential, help young volunteers gain valuable skills, raise awareness of community issues, or solve problems in their neighbourhoods.

Why 50?

’50’ is a number much on our minds here at United Way of Winnipeg, because we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2015.

If you complete any of these 50 positive intentions, send us a photo or a video or share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Youth United would be excited to hear they are inspiring you to make our city a better place.