Youth Advisory Council

Sometimes you know that the time is right! When the Shuswap Foundation broached the subject of a Youth in Philanthropy initiative in 2002, they found partners more than willing to get on board and make the concept work.

Most important—a core (corps) of young people, mostly from Salmon Arm Sr. Secondary) volunteered enthusiastically to learn more about philanthropy and about assisting youth in the Shuswap. These young people: Kim, Cheryl, Miranda, Jennifer, Rowan, Drew, Nicole, Paige and Katrina formed a Youth Advisory Council—YAC, added “of the Shuswap” and became known as the YACOS!

Second: Adult mentors stepped up to assist. Kelly Flynn, an international education worker with OUC; Will Sparks, United Church Minister; and Julie McLeod, Manager of the “YEAR” youth project are wonderful resource people.

Third: The Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union said: “We are looking for ways to support young people in our community. Why don’t we endow $4000 a year for the next three years in a SASCU Youth Endowment Fund? And while we are at it, why don’t we give the YAC another $1,500 immediate granting money to make sure that their first year is successful?” Wow!

Fourth: The Vancouver Foundation agreed to match the Credit Union’s contribution to Youth endowments. They actually gave $5,000 in the first year with the condition that up to $2,500 could be used for immediate granting.

“Touch the Future”

The YACOS mission statement: YACOS is dedicated to providing a positive environment for youth in the Shuswap through grants, volunteerism and leadership.

In order to be able to fund grants in perpetuity, the YACOS will work with the Shuswap Foundation to build a significant fund of endowed capital. With the support of the Credit Union, the Vancouver Foundation and local donors, the fund is off to a great start!

The YACOS launched their campaign on November 4 in the Credit Union Lobby. The group unveiled a large plywood hand covered with pictures of youth in action and displaying their logo—a thumb print—and their slogan: “Touch the Future”.