Building tomorrow’s philanthropists today.

Each year, dozens of students in school leadership classes or youth advisory committees participate in this innovative program to engage local youth in the world of philanthropy. The Victoria Foundation allocates each project team $3,000 annually to distribute to federally registered charities on southern Vancouver Island. Using the Foundation’s Victoria’s Vital Signs® community report as a tool, the students learn about critical issues in their community, researching potential charities and conducting interviews and on-site visits. Each participant provides input and the team as a whole decides how to allocate the grant funds.

More Than Just Grants

The Victoria Foundation also provides an annual grant of $500 to an endowment fund for each participating school. As these endowment funds grow, they will eventually be able to generate returns large enough to ensure a sustainable source of grant funds indefinitely.

The benefits of participating in Vital Youth are lasting as well. Students gain analytical skills and an appreciation of philanthropy and community leadership that together support their future academic and professional endeavours. It’s hoped that participants will be inspired to practice philanthropy and support the community throughout their lives.

Participating Schools

The program launched in three schools in November 2003 and has grown to include ten high schools in three school districts:

  • Belmont Secondary School
  • Claremont Secondary
  • Esquimalt High School
  • Oak Bay High School
  • Parkland Secondary School
  • Pearson College UWC
  • Reynolds Secondary School
  • St. Michaels University School
  • Stelly’s Secondary School
  • Victoria High School
Donors Make It Possible

We acknowledge the generosity of these supporters who have directed funds to support the Vital Youth program in 2020/2021:

  • Andrew Beckerman
  • Blair and Una H. Ferguson Fund
  • Honorary Governors’ Millennium Fund (including personal contributions from a number of our Honorary Governors)
  • Robert and Jane Rogers Fund
  • Saanich Peninsula Community Foundation Fund
  • Victoria Foundation Vital Youth Program Fund (including contributions from various donors)