Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

Enrol My School

Welcome to our “Enrol My School” page! We’re so glad you’re here. Since 2002, we have worked with hundreds of schools, and hundreds of thousands of educators and students to bring the impact of YPI to communities across Canada.

Our program model is flexible enough to work with a variety of schools – public, independent, urban, suburban, rural, big, small – and we understand that every school has its own unique culture and context. Our resources are adaptable to meet a variety of curricular expectations in courses like Civics, Careers, Social Studies, Humanities, and Religion, and our friendly program team is here to support our teachers to navigate and implement YPI in a way that meets the needs of your students.

As you explore the resources on this page, we hope that you will consider applying to participate in YPI. The proven impact of this program for students, schools, and communities is made possible through deep relationships with educators. Join us in building compassionate communities.

Program Basics

The Process

By challenging youth to research and advocate for local charities for a chance to win a $5000 grant, YPI engages students within their community to develop skills in teamwork, communication & critical thinking. What do people in a student’s local community really need?

YPI empowers them to find out for themselves.

The Result
A group of four students holds a cheque for the Common Ground Co-op
The best project, as decided by students, wins a $5,000 grant for their charity

Our Commitment

When we enroll a new school, we do so in the spirit of partnership guided by shared goals and a shared commitment to your students and your community.

Our partnerships with many of our schools span 10+ years, and we commit to long-term, sustainable programming whenever we enroll a new school. Returning schools are always guaranteed a space in the program every year, as long as we have funding secured to support the grant and program support.

The YPI team provides resources and support to all educators implementing the program, maintains regular contact with educators throughout the year, and makes visits virtually and in-person when possible to as many schools as possible every year to offer student workshops, meet with teams of educators, and support YPI event. 

White icon of four school children

Over 18,000 students per year build life-long skills and interest in civic engagement.

Program Requirements

Please see our updated and flexible 2020/21 Program Guidelines, adapted for COVID-19.

Teachers receive introductory training, full program resources, and ongoing staff support to run YPI, but before we enroll a new school, please schedule a short information call with our team, to talk through our program requirements, and how YPI can help bring your curriculum to life for your classroom and your community.

  • YPI will be taught in all classes of one mandatory course across one chosen grade/year level: 9 or 10. 
  • Your school’s YPI Lead Teacher will be the main point of contact for YPI communications, and will provide updates on your school’s YPI project upon request throughout the year.
  • YPI will be delivered over the course of at least four weeks (in each class), using/adapting the lessons in the provided YPI curriculum guide.
  • Charity site visits are a requirement of YPI. Your school will permit/support students to make off-campus site visits to their chosen charities.
  • Charities are to be identified and selected by students, and must meet the YPI eligibility requirements: registered charity providing social services directly to people in your local community.
  • A Final Presentations Assembly will be arranged to permit finalist teams from each class to give their presentation to an audience and a panel of judges. Minimum recommendation for audience: one entire grade level. Judging panel must have a majority of students.

*In a school’s first year, a minimum of 50% of the grade/year level should participate; in every year moving forward, all students in the grade/year level should participate. This is in order to be inclusive to all students.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re always happy to hear from schools who want to bring YPI to their students. We are currently accepting applications from middle schools and high schools (YPI is typically offered through a grade 9 and 10 curricular course).

Click here for the application form and more information about program requirements »

YPI programming and resources are provided free of charge to all participating schools. Independent schools are asked to participate in YPI’s grant-matching program, in which the school commits to providing half of the $5,000 grant that is ultimately directed to a local social service charity in the school’s community, as selected by participating students.

YPI is an inclusive educational experience, helping students learn that everyone can make a difference in their communities. In mandatory courses, every student has access to YPI’s experiential learning model, school culture is influenced across student cohorts, and the impact of your students’ social engagement grows for your community as a whole. 

The recipient of a $5000 grant YPI grant is decided at each participating school’s YPI Final by a panel of judges (made up of a majority of youth). YPI Finals are held after an initial round of classroom-level presentations.

YPI Canada sends grant cheques directly to the winning charities in the summer following the school year.

There are a variety of resources available to support you once your school is enrolled in YPI, including our robust Teacher Resource Guide with suggested activities, assignments and student resources; phone and email support for all teachers throughout the year; and interactive student workshops (virtual and in-person options) facilitated by the YPI Canada team.

Sign up for updates

Receive a downloadable guide about YPI, and occasional updates with more resources & materials to help understand the program. 


Don’t just take our word for it!

Teachers tell us they love the YPI program. Among the best parts of the program, they report…

  •  Positive outcomes for their students 
  • Development of pro-social behaviours
  • Opportunities to collaborate with colleagues across other departments

Thank you for providing such a brilliant project that is at the forefront of education. I have been teaching for 30 years and I have never seen a project work so effectively across an entire grade that empowers youth to gain skills for their future and at the same time promotes empathy and caring. It is truly a recipe for success!”

Marilyn Nunn, YPI Teacher from British Columbia

Our Pedagogical Approach

YPI engages students in an authentic, inquiry-based process, which is structured around carefully designed outcomes and tasks. The project scaffolds student development to engage participants  in critical experiential learning that has a real world impact. YPI uses Project-Based Learning pedagogy with a Social & Emotional Learning approach, and targets the development of 21st Century Skills.

YPI’s program model and target outcomes are aligned with the strongest current research into major developmental frameworks for youth, as outlined in “Youth Who Thrive”: a summary of critical factors and effective programs for youth, created by the Students Commission of Canada and the Social Program Evaluation Group at Queen’s University for the YMCA of Greater TorontoUnited Way Toronto (now known as United Way Toronto and York Region), and the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

For a more detailed explanation of how YPI implements the above pedagogical approaches, and how this leads to targeted outcomes for positive youth development, please see the downloadable resource below.

How Do We Know We’re Effective?

We measure. We have begun using the Youth Who Thrive “ARC” Framework as a national benchmark for monitoring and evaluation.

YPI’s program model is supported by the Youth Who Thrive “ARC” framework. The ARC framework asserts that youth need to develop Autonomy; Relatedness; and Competence to thrive both in adolescence, as well as adulthood, with evidence-supported implications for longterm individual, social, and system outcomes such as physical and mental well-being, healthy relationships, employment, and responsible citizenship.

A diagram demonstrating the ARC framework of Autonomy, Relatedness and Competence.

Outcomes for Students

Youth develop the skills, character, and knowledge that are required for more compassionate communities and for meaningful civic engagement.

Cognitive (Learning/Skill Development/Head) Outcomes

  •  Youth are aware of social issues in their communities
  • Youth have a good understanding of the role of charities in their communities
  •  Youth develop 21st century skills (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, character, citizenship, tech)
  • Youth perceive future benefit in the skills and knowledge they gained through YPI

Emotional (Feeling/Heart) Outcomes: 

  • Youth know themselves and their values on a deeper level
  •  Youth become more empathetic
  •  Youth believe that they can make a positive difference in their communities through their voices and actions

Social (Behavioural/Hands) Outcomes:

  •  Youth speak up about social issues that they care about in their communities
  •  Youth talk about local charities and how they help people in their community
White icon of two intersecting speech bubbles

Each student teaches around 7-8 people, on average, about a new social issue through the YPI Process. 

sample student work

“This project wasn’t about the mark I wanted to get. It was about the mark I wanted to have on society.”

YPI Student, 15 years old


Upcoming events

We’ll be presenting virtual sessions at the following events; see you there!

Resources & Supports

YPI is a flexible program. We provide resources, lesson plans, assignments, worksheets, and student workshops for you to choose from on a timeline that suits your curricular expectations and course model. We respect the autonomy of educators to implement YPI in a way that is appropriate to their context.

These resources are available in both English and French, and our staff team is also available to support you and your students in both languages.


YPI delivers on key curriculum expectations and mandated learning outcomes in many curricular programs. YPI teachers use the project to address a wide variety of curriculum expectations for students in grade 9 or 10 mandatory courses, including Civics, Careers, English Language Arts, Ethics and Religious Culture, Geography, Humanities, Planning, and Social Studies.

Connections between YPI and curriculum for courses in which YPI is most frequently housed (based on representation among our current participating schools) are outlined here. This is not an exhaustive list of all curriculum expectations that can be met through YPI. YPI is a flexible and versatile program, with elements that cut across curricular lines.

If you would like to speak with someone about how to address the specific curricular expectations for your course, contact us.

Evaluation Plan

See how we monitor and evaluate our program outcomes on students, schools, charities and communities.

“YPI’s evaluation framework is a leading example of how to measure outcomes of a youth program in a thoughtful and comprehensive way. Using a clear program logic model as the foundation of their evaluation framework, YPI uses mixed methods to tell a full and well-rounded story of the work they are doing. Their evaluation is used to support strategic decision-making, and to communicate key findings with stakeholders in the non-profit, education, and philanthropic sectors.”

Vivian Oystrick, YouthREX Northern Hub Manager

98% of teachers say YPI makes it easier to engage their students in local issues and citizenship.

100% of teachers say that YPI builds a stronger culture of caring and community in their school.



Canadian Best Practice in Civic Education

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship


Premier’s Award for Philanthropy in Education

Government of Ontario

Ontario Coat of Arms


Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship (OMC)

Government of Ontario

Ontario Coat of Arms


June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award

Government of Ontario


Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law

Julie Toskan

Saint Mary’s University

Crest of the Governor General of Canada


Meritorious Service Medal (Civilian)

Julie Toskan

Governor General of Canada

Download the guide

This print-friendly guide outlines the YPI program and application process for new schools.  

Book a call

Speak with a member of the YPI Program Team, and get your questions answered.

Apply Now

Ready to apply? Complete the online application form today. 

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Upcoming Info Sessions

We will be scheduling virtual information sessions starting in 2021 – check back for updates!