Ontario Investing in New Opportunities for Children and Youth

Ontario Investing in New Opportunities for Children and Youth

Youth Opportunities Fund supporting local community projects across the province

July 13, 2021

Children, Community and Social Services

OTTAWA — The Ontario government is investing more than $13 million through the Youth Opportunities Fund to support 36 youth and community-led grassroots projects across the province that help build stronger communities. These projects will provide supports that help children, youth and families develop new skills, overcome barriers, and strengthen relationships within their communities.

“Our government knows that local, grassroots organizations are in the best position to address the unique needs of their communities and make a direct impact on young people’s lives,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “The Youth Opportunities Fund allows us to invest in communities by forming partnerships with youth and local leaders who are creating new opportunities for young people and families.”

The Youth Opportunities Fund is a grant program administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation that provides funding and capacity-building supports to local community-driven and youth-led projects that focus on improving the well-being of young people and families facing barriers to success.

Some examples of projects receiving funding this year include:

  • Anishinabek Employment & Training Services, supporting Indigenous youth in Northwestern Ontario to improve educational outcomes and make transitions to employment.
  • BLKGURL__, providing creative and engaging programming to build strong community and cultural connections for Black gender-marginalized and queer youth in Ottawa.
  • Canadian Somali Mothers Association, providing workshops, coaching, referrals and networking opportunities to help Somali mothers in Ottawa navigate and access essential services.
  • Canadian and African Women Aid Program, providing coding and programming training workshops to expand IT career opportunities for young Black parents, guardians and caregivers in Brampton.
  • Kamalayan Konsciousness, providing workshops, mentorship and seminars for Filipino and Filipina youth in Toronto to address the impacts of racism and other issues.

“I’m delighted the Youth Opportunities Fund is funding 36 new projects benefiting young people and families and I’m excited by the creativity and breadth of projects that our collaboratives and grassroots groups will be implementing,” said Katharine Bambrick, CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. “The Youth Opportunities Fund offers a unique opportunity for Indigenous-led and Black-led groups to implement new ideas and expand successful community programs that will make a positive impact for youth and families in Ontario.”

“It is imperative we equip our young people, particularly community leaders who are creating change, with the proper tools to make lasting changes in their neighbourhoods,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “Initiatives such as this are creating leaders and change makers in Ontario. And the projects selected this year will have positive impacts for those being served.”

Quick Facts

  • The 2021 Youth Opportunities Fund grants will provide a total of $13,644,400 in funding to 36 community organizations.
  • Applications for the 2021-22 Youth Opportunities Fund grants will open in Fall 2021.
  • The Youth Opportunities Fund provides funding through three streams:
    • The Youth Innovations Stream provides youth facing multiple barriers with the resources they need to design and deliver new and inspiring solutions to issues that matter to them and their communities.
    • The Family Innovations Stream invests in local, community-driven groups delivering culturally relevant projects that empower and support parents, guardians and caregivers who face barriers and challenges to child and family well-being.
    • The System Innovations Stream supports organizations that are strengthening the quality and responsiveness of systems so that they may work better for young people facing barriers.

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