Five youth-led projects in the South Okanagan recently received $9,500 from local organizations. (Black Press logo)

Five youth-led “positive change” projects in South Okanagan receive $9,500

Central Okanagan Foundation for Youth and United Way’s GenNext give money to projects

The Central Okanagan Foundation for Youth (COFFY) and United Way’s GenNext both contributed $9,500 to five deserving youth-led projects in the South Okanagan this spring.

The grants are available to youth up to 25 years old, who partner with an organization to create positive change in their community, according to a media release. A committee of youth representatives from the Central Okanagan Foundation Kelowna met at the end of March to review the applications and make funding decisions.

The awards ranged from $1,500 to $2,000.

READ MORE: Some South Okanagan students are $1,000 richer

Jude Brunt, Community Investment Manager with United Way SIBC, said the organization is proud of its youth board, who help fund and evaluate the applications each year.

“The learning process is two way and it’s so empowering to see youth leadership championing other local youth for their community spirit and great ideas. United Way is involved in many initiatives across the valley and this is one of our favourites, as we see how much community impact can be achieved with relatively small amounts of money and a whole lot of youth passion!”

The Youth Initiative Grant recipients for 2019 include:

  • Green Screen, Enactus Okanagan College (Kelowna)
  • More LGBTQ+ Friends, Etcetera – The Bridge Youth and Family Services & Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs (Kelowna)
  • YAAC Mental Health Week Campaign, Foundry Kelowna (Kelowna)
  • Mural Project-Foundry, OneSky Community Resources (Penticton)
  • Silver Surfers, Enactus Okanagan College (Kelowna)

READ MORE: Support is pouring in for Kampe’s final fundraising initiative

“These grants encourage community members who are 25 and under to get involved in important issues like the environment, inclusivity and mental health. The projects and the review process help inspire the passions of younger people in our community,” said Joanne Carey, Coordinator of Grants and Community Initiatives at the Central Okanagan Foundation in the release.

In the Green Screen Project, for example, students from Enactus at Okanagan College work with middle-school students in Kelowna to collect unused technology and redistribute it to people who need it.

“Project Green Screen focuses on environmental sustainability and repurposing neglected technology. With the involvement of youth from schools in the community, we are able to teach the importance of re-using and recycling technology. The funding received from the Youth Initiative Grant will allow us to refurbish a greater amount of technology. This will further provide more technology for those unable to gain access to the technology they need,” said Isaac Hossmann, the student project manager of the Green Screen in the release.

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