Healthy Communities

YMCA Ignite launch: Empowering Canadian youth for a brighter future

26 May 2023 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto

In a thrilling event that marks a significant step forward in empowering Canadian youth, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and YMCA BC officially launched YMCA Ignite, a first-of-its-kind digital platform. This initiative was made possible by a generous investment of $1.2 million from the RBC Foundation through RBC Future Launch. The launch event, held on May 17, 2023, was a celebration of innovation and collaboration, bringing together representatives from RBC and the YMCA.

The afternoon took place at Central YMCA with insightful remarks from the president of YMCA of Greater Toronto, Medhat Mandy, and the president of YMCA BC, Heidi Worthington, emphasizing our charity’s commitment to supporting youth development. YMCA BC and the YMCA of Greater Toronto shared their vision for YMCA Ignite and its transformative potential in delivering employment and leadership content to young Canadians aged 15 to 29.

The highlight of the launch was the captivating debut of the YMCA Ignite trailer. Project lead, Juan Delgado, and project manager, Lisa Sloan, had the opportunity to showcase the platform’s key features, which will serve as a gateway for youth to unlock a world of possibilities. From comprehensive employment resources to leadership development programs, YMCA Ignite is set to equip young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the rapidly evolving job market.

To end the event on an inspiring note, Cindy Marques, Eduek Brooks, Farahnaaz Kanji, and Sufiat Fusigboye took to the stage to discuss "Career Success in 2023: How Young People Can Reach Their Full Potential." The panelists, experts in their respective fields, focused on the importance of continuous learning and adaptability in today's professional landscape.

The impact of YMCA Ignite extends beyond its launch, as the YMCA aims to serve 24,000 youth by 2025. This transformative investment allows the YMCA to expand its reach beyond traditional brick-and-mortar centres, ensuring that critical programs and services are accessible to communities throughout Canada.

A panelist speaks into a microphone while three other panelists listenfrom left to right: Cindy Marques, Eduek Brooks, Farahnaaz Kanji, and Sufiat Fusigboye

YMCA Ignite revolutionizes the way the YMCA fulfills its mission of empowering youth and promoting personal growth. This groundbreaking digital platform not only reaffirms the YMCA of Greater Toronto's commitment to providing equitable opportunities but also strengthens communities nationwide by fostering resilience.

As YMCA Ignite takes flight, we are excited to witness the far-reaching impact it will have on the lives of young Canadians, igniting a future filled with endless possibilities. Together with the support of the RBC Foundation and the collective efforts of the YMCA community, we are laying the foundation for a brighter tomorrow.

This project is powered by the RBC Foundation, through RBC Future Launch. 


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