YMCA of Greater Toronto celebrates completion of YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre leadership program, focusing on volunteerism and leadership among youth

27 June 2023

YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program (YGAP) tackles youth gambling with launch of new game and website

TORONTO, June 27, 2023 - On Tuesday, MPP Stephen Lecce visited the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Schomberg location to announce the completion of a multi-year YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre leadership program. Offering accessible outdoor programming to more than 300 youth in the Greater Toronto Area, the YMCA was able to use a $383,600 Grow grant that it received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2018, to deliver the program to youth between the ages of 12 and 18 to encourage volunteerism and leadership.

“I am proud to mark the completion of an investment at YMCA Cedar Glen, which supported the leadership development of youth in King and Vaughan," said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan. “From our classrooms to summer programming, we are ensuring young people are developing life and leadership skills that will help unlock their limitless potential. By empowering young people to be engaged both civically and locally, we will change lives as they make a difference in our community and country.”

Located at YMCA Cedar Glen, the program has been equipping youth – including those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+ and newcomers to Canada – with outdoor programming, overnight food and accommodation, as well as transportation. Through group-led workshops and community project tie-ins, the leadership program positively contributed to youth well-being, leadership development and civic engagement outdoors.

“Young people are capable of so much,” said Medhat Mahdy, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “The YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre leadership program is an example of how we help people reach their potential with support and guidance.”

Since 2020, the Y has hosted over 300 youth in the Greater Toronto Area, including members of the YMCA Black Achievers Mentorship Program and the Newcomer Youth Leadership Development (NYLD) Program. Through community initiatives, like building garden beds to promote biodiversity and installing bat houses to help protect YMCA Cedar Glen’s environment without pesticides, participating youth experienced new challenges and programs to build leadership and skills experiences.

If you are interested in learning more about YMCA of Greater Toronto programs and services, including youth and leadership programs, visit ymcagta.org. Learn more about YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre programs at ymcagta.org/cedarglen.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Promoting equity and boosting well-being across more than 440 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, the Y is a leading charity that helps everyone shine. For more information visit https://ymcagta.org.