Engaging Today’s Youth
SCF is taking the lead in encouraging youth to become involved and empowering them to add their voice and opinions to make a difference in our community.
Now, more than ever before, community leaders are recognizing the positive connection between involving youth in community activities and the increase in overall community vitality and engagement. Youth bring new energy and ideas to long-standing issues and concerns, often with a unique perspective as to how best to tackle challenges and opportunities.
Shuswap Community Foundation is seeking to take a leadership role in the region by supporting communities that encourage youth to become involved and empowering them to add their voice and opinions to make a difference. A key component in this strategy is the re-establishment of a Youth Philanthropy Advisory Committee.
A Youth Committee is a formal “board” of young people that provides representation or a “voice” for youth in the community. The structure and activities of the Committee would reflect that of any other standing SCF Committee, replete with a Chair, vice-chair and secretary. A new council would be formed at the beginning of each school year. With the support of an adult advisor from the SCF Board, and a teacher advisor from the High School, the Youth Committee would primarily function as a grant making committee, specifically focusing on issues concerning youth in our communities.
The Committee would also:
Youth Committee members would also be encouraged to act upon issues of importance to them through advocacy efforts and collaboration with other community groups. The long-term goal being that the Committee empowers youth to become involved in other areas of local governance, community issues and decision-making.
The program would be open to students in grades 8 through 12, as well as community youth 21 and under. This structure would allow for the nurturing and development of younger members, as well as limiting the loss of committee expertise to graduation.
It would also allow for a variety of youth perspectives beyond those of senior high school students.
Ideally, the Committee will be made up of a diversity of perspectives – including gender, ethnicity, cultural and worldviews, values, belief systems, and social and economic conditions.