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Philanthropy means generosity in all its forms. It is often defined as giving gifts of “time, talent, and treasure” to help make life better for other people. Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) is designed to introduce motivated young people to philanthropy and local community development. The program gives students hands-on experience working as a team and with local charitable organizations. The Community Foundation hopes to inspire the next generation of philanthropists to start thinking about ways they can make life better for others and give back to the community around them.

The Youth in Philanthropy program started in the early days of the Community Foundation after Executive Director, Mike Christie, heard about the concept from Community Foundations of Canada. Not all YiP programs were alike, but the goal remained the same: to help inspire youth in the community to think about charitable giving.

Heather McCaig, teacher at Crescent Heights High School, heard about YiP in 2007 and has participated with her Leadership Class ever since. Her class alone has helped distribute over $30,000 in grants to local charities. Within the Leadership Class, students learn about volunteering at charities and local community development, and participating in YiP gives them hands-on experience with this. It helps the students become active members of the community and allows them to learn about different services and places where they can volunteer. Heather has witnessed students develop more confidence through this program and has watched them go on to lead and work for charitable organizations themselves.

“This program gives my class resources we would not normally have. My favorite part of the program is when the students meet the people at the charity and can see how excited they are presented with their cheques. I would like to thank the Community Foundation for running this program and allowing us this amazing opportunity to not only examine the needs of our city, but also to assist us in making our students better citizens. This program is a true blessing.” – Heather McCaig, Teacher, Crescent Heights High School

Trish Richard, former CFSEA staff member, helped to grow the program during her two years with the Foundation. She loved seeing the youth research charities, fundraise, present to a panel, and present the grant cheques to the organizations. At one Crescent Heights High School panel presentation, there was a specifically bright youth, determined to represent the charity she chose with passion. Trish was moved by her presentation and reached out to Heather McCaig after the presentation to see if she could contact this student. Trish was able to offer this student, Olivia, a summer student position with the Community Foundation.

“The YiP program is vital to any community. Giving youth a chance to voice their opinions and express their ideas. A chance to make a real difference! Youth are the future and without programs like YiP they may not get to experience the joy of giving, granting, and donating.” Trish Richard, Former CFSEA Staff

Countless students have participated in this program and numerous charities have benefited from YiP over the years. The students who participate in Youth in Philanthropy have the opportunity to understand the impact of doing something philanthropic and the ripple effect it creates to benefit our community.

“30 Stories for 30 Years”