Programs and Initiatives
Youth In Action:
Replicated from the very successful United Way Day of Caring, the NYAC has made this a an ongoing program by spending time doing tangible volunteering in the community. Over the past several years NYAC worked at many different organizations painting, landscaping and cleaning in Brighton, Campbellford and Port Hope and Cobourg. As recent as October, the NYAC cleaned and re-painted much of the walls at Transition House in Cobourg.
Youth Merit Scholarship:
This is a $1000 scholarship administered by the NYAC on a yearly basis, for youth,decided by youth. Applications are accepted throughout the acceptance time period and at least five students are interviewed to receive the scholarship. The decision making process is decided by youth, a committee of 5 NYAC Board Members who sort through the applications, interview potential recipients and make a final decision which all is done through the supervision of the chairperson.
Youth Roundtable Discussions:
The NYAC had a very successful roundtable discussion with the Premier of Ontario In Northumberland, met with the Minister of Youth and Children Services Mary Anne Chambers in her Toronto offices, and also met in our area with the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Chris Bentley.
Youth 2 Youth:
The goal of these “Youth2Youth” forums are to gather important information, facilitate community collaboration between various youth organizations and sectors throughout Northumberland County as well as identify issues and possible solutions to the challenges that face youth in Northumberland today. Furthermore, we will engage young people and work to find grass roots solutions to the community based challenges they face. Currently, the survey that will be available for youth to fill out online as well as in paper form is being development, ready for launch by February 2008. After the survey phase is complete, forums will be held throughout the county to speak directly to youth before a final report is compiled and meetings with stakeholders will commence.
In The Community:
The NYAC wants to continue to working with different youth and youth groups throughout the county to help them achieve their goals. For instance, the NYAC in 2006 through present time has assisted CDCI West with funding to continue to put on their Holiday Dinner for the community which everyone is invited to and is free! Offering assistance to purchase, make the food and clean up, the NYAC also is present to hand out T-Shirts to the kids. A small holiday gift can go a long way. The tasks of working with media and government are not something many youth have experience in and resources to do. This is where we come in.
Youth Enterprise Fund:
This fund has been created to support youth and various initiatives that youth undertake in Northumberland County. The focus of this new NYAC program is to partner financially, and in some cases with in-kind support, on projects that strive to foster a culture of caring and giving, benefitting youth in our community and beyond. This new Youth Enterprise Fund presents opportunities to collaborate with other services organizations within Northumberland County, creating and strengthening partnerships, and expanding the role of the NYAC in helping youth and youth initiatives build community capacity. Over the past year, the NYAC has been able to fund various projects through both the Cobourg and Port Hope Public Libraries, sponsor Rotary’s Camp Enterprise both financially and through in-kind contributions as well as play a leading role in The Ontario Rural Council through sponsoring and leading discussions on best-practices in youth organizations, showcasing Northumberland County.
Anti Bullying Campaign
Introduced this year, NYAC will be heading a County-wide Anti-Bullying Awareness Campaign. The idea of this campaign came to be when we heard about a local teenager who took her life because of bullying; this is something we don’t want to see happening ever again. Throughout the campaign school visits will be made by council members. Bullying awareness poem and poster contests will be introduced throughout all schools as well. To conclude the campaign an event will be held at the Baltimore Rec Centre on June 12th. At the event poem readings will take place, as well as posters will be displayed, guest celebrities will be on hand, jumping castle and other attractions will be provided. At the very end of the event, when the sun goes down a candlelight walk will be held around the park to mark the closing of the campaign and an end to bullying. For more information about this, please contact Jamie Simmons 905.372.8315 Ext. 225.
Best Practices Series:
The NYAC focuses on explaining the structure and community support needed to have a youth council like this one. Its collaboration of various speakers allows for a comprehensive overview on Northumberland County’s strategy for engaging and retaining youth. The Northumberland Youth Advisory Council is a practical way to create a youth council that will have tangible outcomes. By ensuring the support of your local governments and community members, a youth council can ensure its lasting support to continue working within its community. The most efficient way to go forth with ones project is to ensure that you are not re-inventing the wheel. Use already established organizations to partner on your initiatives. If there is already a youth council in your community, instead of creating a new work, try and work with the one already there to improve it. These factors are the basis for building a sustainable youth strategy in your community. Since the conference, the NYAC has been in contact with countless agencies and community organizations throughout Ontario offering practical advice and tools to engage youth.