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Kingston Receives $700,000 to Help At-Risk Youth

MPP Kiwala Joins the Student Commission of Canada to Announce Youth Research and Engagement Program

Ontario’s Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) has granted the Students Commission of Canada $700,000 over four years to bring Kingston organizations together to find the best opportunities for at-risk youth.

The Student Commission of Canada leads The Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement, which brings academics, youth organizations and young people together to research ways to improve youth programs and youth engagement in Canada.

With this grant, they will engage youth, supported by adult allies, to research and identify needs of youth facing barriers in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington communities. Funds will be used for salaries of staff and youth leaders, convening and activity supplies. With this investment, the collaborative aims to:

  • decrease barriers to youth development;
  • increase relevancy and participation of youth programs and services;
  • and increase positive outcomes for youth.

Collaborating organizations include: Boys and Girls Club of Kingston & Area, Community Living Kingston, KEYS Job Centre, Kingston Community Health Centres, Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health Centres, Kingston Military Family Resource Centre, Kingston Police Service, Pathways for Children and Youth, The City of Kingston, Three Things Consulting, YMCA of Kingston.

This is the first time Kingston has received a YOF grant. For 2015-16, the YOF granting program, which is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is providing grants to 31 organizations in 15 communities across Ontario, for a total of $7.7 million. Grants go toward helping grassroots organizations engage with youth, aged 12 to 25, who are facing multiple barriers to social well-being, by creating fun learning activities that are tailored to the unique needs of their community.

The Youth Opportunities Fund is part of the province’s $55-million enhanced Ontario Youth Action Plan – Ontario’s largest investment to date to help children and youth in high-priority communities across the province.

Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and have the best possible start in life. Increasing supports for children and youth is one way Ontario is working to support families and create positive environments so all children and youth can reach their full potential.


“When youth have access to the right support and opportunities, we believe that they are much better able to make positive choices to reach their full potential. Our government believes in empowering youth to identify the solutions for their advancement. I am so glad to see such a strong network of local partners engaged in this important initiative to help provide our youth with every possible opportunity to succeed.”
— Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands

"This grant will expand the work of the existing Y2K Collective beyond Kingston, and we are very pleased that these organizations who have been working together for the past three years on the Kingston Youth Strategy have seen the value of continuing to collaborate. We know that engaging youth in identifying issues and leading the solutions is good for them and for their communities. With this grant we will be hiring 12 new youth leaders, who will be supported by the collaborating organizations. It's a great move forward."
— Stoney McCart, Executive Director, The Students Commission

"We're not the leaders of tomorrow, we're the leaders of today."
— Mariah Toner, Y2K youth facilitator

“We are pleased that the Students Commission of Canada and Y2K have been able to secure this tremendous support. Their success is an example of what our young leaders can achieve for their fellow youth. Kingston is proud to be a designated Youth-friendly Community and we know this funding will help Y2K and all the collaborative partners to realize the goals of the youth strategy.”
— Bryan Paterson, Mayor of Kingston

“We are exceptionally proud of the impact our Youth Opportunities Fund has had in helping youth in communities across Ontario reach their full potential. This fund is a great example of partnerships with local grassroots groups who know and understand the needs of their communities and who know best how to achieve great success.”
— Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services

“This year’s announcement is special because we had a chance to expand our reach across the province. These projects are going to make a big difference in the lives of Ontario’s youth. We are thrilled for the grantees and look forward to see the fruition of their hard work and commitment.”
— Janet Yale, Board Chair, Ontario Trillium Foundation


  • Since its launch in 2013, the Youth Opportunities Fund has provided $18.7 million to 73 community groups benefitting more than 100,000 youth.
  • Grants are awarded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation based on how well projects address desired outcomes in Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario's Youth Succeed.
  • The application period for next year’s grants will launch in summer 2016 and application deadline dates will be announced in spring 2016.
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario:


Youth Action Plan
Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario's Youth Succeed
Learn how to apply for a Youth Opportunities Fund grant

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