This long-running YMCA program was designed for newcomer, refugee, and Canadian-born youth between 11 and 18 years old. Participants receive free one-on-one advisor support and attend a free, structured group program every week. They build confidence, a network of friends and adult allies, and a sense of community and belonging.
Programming helps youth build the skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life, and includes:
- Team-building exercises
- Professional skills development
- Community service and volunteerism
- Recreation and sports activities
- Civic engagement activities such as voter information sessions and mock elections
- Paid internships
- Youth leadership camp weekends
Newcomer and refugee group participants enjoy the same activities, with an additional focus on creating a positive settlement and leadership development experience. This is done with activities that support youth in making social connections, help them participate in Canadian society through recreation and volunteer opportunities, boost their confidence in speaking English, and help them apply for jobs.