On the morning of Tuesday, November 27 at George B. Little School in Scarborough, Toronto, Community Builders Youth Leadership launched its new Sparks of Courage Initiative, Turning Community Challenges into Action Projects: Mobilizing the Leadership of Young People! Local MPP Mitzie Hunter was at the event to speak about the impact that Community Builders’ $365,300 Grow grant will have on the expansion of this program into even more schools.
“Community Builders Youth Leadership’s new initiative is exactly the types of programs we need to invest in. Encouraging our youth to be leaders in their community will help build a strong, successful and welcoming Scarborough. I look forward to the new leaders that will emerge from this project and to see the impact they will make on their peers.” - Mitzie Hunter, MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood
The three-year youth leadership development initiative will involve nine elementary schools in three areas of southern Ontario, including in Scarborough, Grand River and the Jane Finch neighbourhood of Toronto. Teams of youth, supported by teachers and parents, will build ally skills, gain meaningful leadership skills and experience leading their peers, culminating in youth-led action projects.
Community Builders Youth Leadership is excited to bring these programs to life with the help of Inspired Playback Theatre and Lorrie Gallant, Six Nations artist and educator.
Tuesday’s launch was followed by a vibrant two-day Symposium, where youth, parents and educators from Scarborough engaged in community building and leadership activities. A multi-age leadership team led the Symposium, including Grade 7 and 8 youth leaders trained in previous years by Community Builders. Youth participants expressed that they were very pleased to be getting to know their peers from other schools, proud to be developing leadership skills and looking forward to making their schools even more caring and welcoming of diversity.
Community Builders Youth Leadership is an award-winning charitable organization established in 1994 to build leadership capacity in school communities. It trains students, teachers and parents in anti-bullying, social inclusion, equity and conflict resolution, while raising their awareness of racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.