The earlier in life you realize you—your ideas, your passion—can make a big difference to your community, the more you’ll be able to accomplish.
Our Youth Connections Grant Program (PDF) helps young activists realize their vision. Youth United, our volunteer youth council who oversee the grants, like to get the project leaders together once a year at an event called uConnect, so they can meet each other and keep the inspiration flowing.
We asked Victoria Truong, Youth United Chair, more about uConnect.
United Way: What’s the most important thing that comes out of getting the project teams together?
Victoria: Youth United is all about making connections and this is one of the main reasons we host the uConnect event – for young leaders in Winnipeg to come together and make connections!
My top two most important things that comes out of getting the project teams together is the hope that these young leaders will meet and thrive off of each others’ ideas, to motivate them to generate new and exciting initiatives that will benefit our community!
The second most important thing, in my opinion, is the awareness of community issues and appreciation of diversity that comes with having these project teams from various areas of Winnipeg come together and meet.
United Way: How does it feel to meet the project teams?
Victoria: I can say on behalf on the Youth United Council is that it is encouraging to see young people engage in issues that affect our community and take initiative to solve a problem or generate an opportunity in some way.
I genuinely enjoy these interactions with the project teams and it gives me new insight every time I meet and speak with a new project team. It’s enlightening and humbling to see young people do good things.
United Way: How do you hope it made them feel?
Victoria: My hope with these interactions with the project teams is to encourage them to continue their initiatives, to continue their growth, pursue their potential and to continue to care about Winnipeg and its people.
I want to instill in these young students that their efforts are not going unnoticed and are very much appreciated. I know how discouraging it could be to put so much effort into something and not be recognized for it.
I hope that events such as uConnect work to combat that discouragement in young people and help them to feel motivated to continue their commitments by being recognized and by meeting other young like-minded leaders in the community.
This past year, grants supported 10 inspiring youth-led projects.
|Springfield Collegiate||Green Living Initiative|
|Making Waves Winnipeg||Summer Activity Camps|
|St. James Collegiate||Stevenson Mentorship Connection|
|St. James Collegiate||Brooklands Literacy Project|
|Dakota Collegiate||Seniors Evening|
|Dakota Collegiate||Operation Rudolf|
|Churchill High School||Women’s Health and Wellness Week|
|Elmwood High School||Girl’s Retreat|
|University of Manitoba||Let’s Talk Science Challenge|
|Kelvin High School||Camp Clipper|