Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

Hamilton Students Celebrate grant in support of Mission Services Hamilton

Women4Change giving circle donates $10,000 to support charities researched and championed by Hamilton youth through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Canada.

The Women4Change giving circle at the Hamilton Community Foundation has directed a total of $10,000 this fall to support six frontline Hamilton-area charities that are supporting community members in Hamilton, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. All six organizations were selected and researched by local high school students as part of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), a school-based philanthropy program designed to connect young people with the social service sector while they practice skills in communication, research, and advocacy.  

At the end of the 2019/20 academic year, YPI Canada collaborated with the Women4Change giving circle to provide current, youth-led research about local charities that are supporting community members in Hamilton amid the pandemic. Women4Change used the YPI students’ research from four HWDSB high schools to learn about the work of local charities, and to make decisions about where to direct a portion of their 2020 donations.

“This experience has made us realize that you never know how much of an impact you can have on others and the importance of helping the community bring awareness to local issues.”

“We had a big winner a couple of years ago, but there are no losers when it comes to YPI. Because students are researching things that maybe they don’t normally, or they’re working with people that they might not normally work with,” said  Andrew Gocentas, the YPI Lead Teacher at Sherwood Secondary School.

On 18th November, 2020 YPI Canada, hosted a virtual celebration to recognize the important work of grade 10 Sherwood Secondary School students – Marissa, Caleigh, Jason and Evan – whose research project led to the largest donation of $5,000 to the Willow’s Place program at Mission Services of Hamilton.

In addition to Willow’s Place, five other charities received donations of $1,000 each through the Women4Change giving circle partnership with YPI. For each school that participates in the YPI program, YPI Canada directs $5,000 in grant funding to student-researched charities. This collaboration – drawing together students, their teachers, charities, and generous local philanthropists – is an opportunity to amplify student advocacy, and to deliver more awareness and resources in support of issues and services that young people care about.

“It means so much that we have young people that are engaged and passionate and enthusiastic about social justice issues. This program is so, so important as we nurture the next generation in caring about our community and our world as a whole.”

“We see YPI as a vehicle to both learn about organizations in the city, through the students’ research, and more importantly to inspire the next generation of philanthropists. We hope that our support drives people to learn about issues in the community, to research, to understand, to give back to organizations they care about, learn how to get involved, and ultimately, be advocates for change themselves,” said Shylah McIntyre, a Senior Philanthropic Officer at  Hamilton Community Foundation. 

 Hamilton Community Foundation has partnered with YPI since 2016, and currently supports the participation of five secondary schools in the Hamilton region each year, allowing over 1,000 grade 10 students each year to participate in YPI’s skill-building program. YPI Canada has been active in the Hamilton area for 14 years and has directed $400,000 to support frontline charities researched and championed by young people.

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