Building a Foundation for Our Future

Published July 05, 2017 19:03


While most youth are focused on kicking back and relaxing during their summer holidays, youth from Youth Agencies Alliance (YAA) are eagerly waiting to become engaged in their community. Beginning today and continuing for the next 6 weeks, youth involved in the Rotary Leadership Circle (RLC) program will be learning the critical skills they need to build strong, healthy, and vibrant neighbourhoods.

Operating in 18 sites across the city, RLC “Youth Leaders” (participants) will participate in community service projects, job preparation activities, community beautification projects, and volunteer at various organizations such as Winnipeg Harvest and Siloam Mission.

The RLC program enables youth to break down barriers by experiencing what Winnipeg has to offer and witnessing their potential to create positive change. Throughout the years, Phil Chiappetta, the Executive Director of Rossbrook House, has witnessed how the program has had a positive impact on youth. “The Leadership Circle Program gives participants from Rossbrook House a sense of importance; they ‘have a job’ and they are ‘on the schedule.’ Leadership Circle promotes a healthy work ethic and the camaraderie of being part of a team; giving participants a vital sense of belonging.”

This summer, 6 out of the 18 staff hired to coordinate the Rotary Leadership Circle program are past program participants. Cory Klassen reflects on his experiences with the RLC program: “14 years ago, I participated in RLC as a Youth Leader. I was a relatively shy kid who tended to retreat within myself. During RLC I was able to meet a lot of new people and experience many new things, which went a long way in building the confidence I needed to be successful in life. Now I'm the Program Manager for West Central Community Program, the same agency that introduced me to Rotary Leadership Circle, and I am able to work with youth in the community. This year I have the honor of being a RLC Site Coordinator, and I hope to have a similar impact on this year’s Youth Leaders.” Cory exemplifies how the RLC program provides a foundation for young staff members to pursue careers in youth work.

Participating sites this year include:
Art City
6 different Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg (Ryerson, Sister MacNamara, Gilbert Park, Norquay, Freight House and Victor Mager)
Broadway Neighbourhood Centre
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM)
Kildonan Youth Activity Centre (KYAC)
Maples Youth Activity Centre (MYAC)
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (NEEDS)
Rossbrook House
Spence Neighbourhood Association
Teen Stop Jeunesse
West Broadway Youth Outreach
West Central Community Program

This program is possible thanks to the support of the Rotary Clubs of Winnipeg, The Gail Asper Family Foundation, The Winnipeg Foundation – Chipman Family Foundation, The Graham C. Lount Family Foundation, and the C P Loewen Family Foundation.

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