Youth Take Action

Have you ever seen something in our community that bothered you, something that you felt you wanted to change, but you didn’t know how? Do you want to meet like-minded people, and have fun in a safe and enthusiastic atmosphere? Have you ever looked at “The issues” and felt powerless – or thought that you were only one person, and one person can’t change the world? Do you want to find a way to complete your required work experience hours, while still having fun and helping your community? Do you care about issues such as; Racial Equality, Homelessness, Environmentalism, Gender Equality, LGBT*Q+ Rights, Media Literacy, Animal Rights, Health and Safety, and various other topics? Maybe you don’t know much those things, but you’ve always wanted to learn? Do you believe, deep down in your core – that the world can and should be changed for the better? Then you should join Youth Take Action!

Youth Take Action (YTA) is a program that gives youth an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, provide input on community issues, build experience, make connections in the non-profit world and make a direct, tangible difference in our community. This program is now in it’s fourth year – and includes both a Winter and Spring program stream. YTA is funded by United Way, Central and Northern Vancouver Island.

How does it work?

6 – 10 youth between the ages of 15 - 18 come together at the Volunteer Comox Valley office, and participate in five 5-hour (full day) workshops. These workshops, facilitated by Tabitha Shaw – start by immediately assisting the youth in getting to know one another, building trust, defining community rules, and learning about leadership, empowerment, empathy and privilege. After all the groundwork is completed, the youth vote on which social issues they would like to learn about, as a group. The three social issues with the most votes become the main topics of the next three workshops. Some examples of chosen social issues from past years were: Bullying and Suicide Prevention, Gender and Sexuality, Diversity in Pop Culture, Body Consciousness and Media Literacy. Tabitha, the facilitator, provides a crash course in the chosen social issues, and then local organizations that work on these issues are invited to come into the group, present information about their organizations, and engage in meaningful dialogue with the youth. For the last workshop, the youth come together to reflect on all they have learned, and receive their program completion certificates. Many youth use YTA as their 30 hours of ‘Community Connections’ Work Experience, which is required for graduation.

Throughout the workshops, YTA2017 will also work on planning and implementing an awareness campaign or fundraising event. This provides the youth with numerous skills, as well as raising money that Volunteer Comox Valley will reinvest in our community through its integral volunteer programs and services. This fundraising event is an opportunity to youth to see the tangible benefits of volunteering, and empowers them through service – as well as giving them a wide variety of tools and skills that are applicable in later life. Some of the skills gained through planning the awareness campaign or fundraising event are: writing letters of intent, logistics of event planning, acquiring community donations, public speaking tools, creating a budget, working on a team, and many more.

Why Should I Join?

YTA is a great way to join other youth to make a difference in our community. The skills you learn in YTA are directly applicable to later life, and look good on a resume or post-secondary school application, and could make the difference when applying for a scholarship or bursary. It is a great way to get work experience, as well as network and meet possible future employers. YTA allows you to engage in your community, and learn about the direct difference your actions can make on the lives affected by various non-profit organizations. The 30 hours you dedicate to YTA may count as your ‘Community Connections’ hours, for Graduation Transitions 12. YTA will help build your self-esteem, help you feel like a leader capable of making change, and foster a sense of belonging to your community. It is an exercise in leadership, teamwork, creativity, ingenuity and other valuable skills. We also get to great food and watch short documentaries (but shhh, don’t tell anyone).

How Do I Join?

There are still spaces available in both our Winter 2017 and Spring 2017 streams. All sessions are held on Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm. Please check the workshop dates below to decide which stream will be better for you!

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WINTER 2017
January 21st
January 28th
February 4th
February 11th
February 18th
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SPRING 2017
March 18th
March 25th
April 1st
April 8th
April 15th

If interested, fill out the registration and media release consent forms below, and be sure to indicate which stream you would like to attend. These forms will need to be signed by a parent or guardian. Once they are signed, you can bring them in to our office located at Unit C1, 450 8th Street in Courtenay. They can also be faxed to 250-338-2488 or emailed to tabitha@volunteercomoxvalley.ca.

Youth Take Action - Registration Form
Youth Take Action - Media Release Consent Form