Vital Youth 10th anniversary

This year (the 2013/14 school year) marked the 10th anniversary of Vital Youth, a program that provides high school students with hands-on experience in philanthropy and community development. Introduced in 2003, it was originally called Youth in Philanthropy, and was modelled after a similar program at the Winnipeg Foundation. In the years since the program began, we now support the Vital Youth program in eight high schools around the Capital Region: Belmont Secondary, Frances Kelsey Secondary, Oak Bay High, St. Michaels University School, Parkland Secondary, Stelly’s Secondary, Reynolds Secondary, and Victoria High.

Vital Youth speakers 2014

We held our celebration event at Government House; click here to see photos from the event. Thank you to Gregg Eligh, Eligh Photography for the pictures!

How Vital Youth works

The Victoria Foundation gives each participating school $2,500 to grant to local charitable organizations. An additional $500 is put into an endowment fund held in each school’s name with the hope that these funds will allow the program to run far into the future.

At each school, the students work together as a group to determine their areas of interest. Using Victoria’s Vital Signs in their research, students identify some of the challenges and needs in our community. They do research, which often includes visiting the organizations on-site, or having representatives from those charities visit them at school. The real challenge comes when the students must decide which organizations they’d like to fund, and how they’d like to divide the $2,500.

Vital Youth milestones

Since beginning the Vital Youth program 10 years ago, the eight endowment funds combined have grown to just over $40,700.

Over the life of the program, students have granted $170,134 to 108 different charities in our community.

2013/14 Vital Youth grants

Belmont Secondary BC Guide Dogs $1,000 Area of greatest need
Belmont Secondary Help Fill A Dream Foundatoin $!,500 Area of greatest need
Frances Kelsey Secondary Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association $1,000 Weighted vests with removable weights
Frances Kelsey Secondary Somenos House (Cowichan Women Against Violence Society $1,000 Toys for teenagers (such as X-Box or Wii games) and furniture at Somenos House
Frances Kelsey Secondary BikeWorks (Canadian Mental Health Association Branch 992) $500 T-shirts for employees and art supplies at BikeWorks
Oak Bay High MS Society of Canada – South Vancouver Island Chapter $2,500 Area of greatest need
Parkland Secondary Rest Haven Lodge (Adventist Health Care Home Society) $1,250 Music Therapy
Parkland Secondary Victoria READ Society $1,250 Tuition
Stelly's Secondary Growing Young Farmers Society $2,500 Helping fund the cost of creating, developing and sustaining "Food-Growing Gardens" on school properties and/or within walking distance of schools on the Saanich Peninsula
St. Michaels University School Victoria Dandelion Society $1,250 Area of greatest need
St. Michaels University School Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society $1,250 Area of greatest need
Reynolds Secondary OCTA Collective Society $2,500

$1,250 for artsREACH for the area of greatest need, and $1,250 for the 6-week After-School Film Program

Victoria High Victoria Youth Clinic (James Bay Health & Community Services Society) $2,500 Youth mental health needs at the Victoria Youth Clinic

Support for Vital Youth

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our generous donors and program sponsors who make Vital Youth possible. Although some choose to remain anonymous, others do not. We thank the Victoria Foundation's Honorary Governors, the Saanich Peninsula Foundation for their support of the program at Stelly's Secondary School, Mrs. Leora Nugent for her support of Parkland Secondary, and Mr. and Mrs. Naz and Yasmine Rayani for their sponsorship of the program at Victoria High School.

If you'd like to learn more about Vital Youth, please contact us or read more about it here.