Vital Youth empowers Greater Victoria students in philanthropy

Victoria, B.C. – The Victoria Foundation’s Vital Youth program has wrapped up for another year, with students taking a break from the books to give back to their community.

“It is truly inspiring to see so many students come together and support the issues facing our community,” says CEO of the Victoria Foundation, Sandra Richardson. “These youth are our future, but they are also our present in helping create a vibrant, caring community for all.”

The Victoria Foundation’s Vital Youth program features students from 10 schools across three school districts in Greater Victoria. Each school group is allocated $3,000 by the Victoria Foundation to grant to local registered charities of their choice. Using the Victoria Foundation’s Vital Signs report as a tool, students research critical issues in their community and perform site visits and interviews with organizations. They then decide, as a group, which organizations they grant the funds to.

“The example students set for their peers sets a foundation for what’s possible in Vital Youth,” says Hayleigh Chafe, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at the Victoria Foundation. “It allows us and our partners to truly listen and act on what is important to the community from the youth perspective.”

Since the program’s inception in 2003, approximately $360,000 has been granted to charities. Vital Youth not only provides support for organizations but helps promote leadership in empowering and educating youth in philanthropy. The Victoria Foundation also provides an annual grant of $500 to an endowment fund for each participating school, to help ensure a sustainable source of grant funds.


Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested over $269 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.

Media Contact

Matthew Williams, Communications and Media Relations Specialist
Victoria Foundation
P. 250.381.5532          E.



Participating schools and organizations supported

Belmont Secondary ·       Victoria Child Abuse Prevention Centre

·       The Victoria Hand Project

Claremont Secondary ·       Victoria Youth Empowerment Society
Esquimalt High ·       Rainbow Kitchen
Oak Bay High ·       1UP Single Parent Resource Centre

·       Rainbow Kitchen

Parkland Secondary ·       Peninsula Streams

·       Victoria Cool Aid Society

·       Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre

Pearson College ·       Victoria Women’s Transition House Society

·       Victoria Cool Aid Society

Reynolds Secondary ·       Victoria Women’s Transition House Society
St. Michaels University School ·       Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness
Stelly’s Secondary ·       SeaChange Marine
Victoria High School ·       Threshold Housing Society