The Vital Youth program (previously named Youth in Philanthropy) provides students with hands-on experience in philanthropy and community development. Formally launched in three schools in November 2003, the program has grown to include eight high schools in three school districts:
- Belmont Secondary School
- Frances Kelsey Secondary School
- Oak Bay High School
- Parkland Secondary School
- Reynolds Secondary School
- St. Michaels University School
- Stelly's Secondary School
- Victoria High School
Schools participate in the program through a youth advisory committee or a leadership class. The Victoria Foundation allocates each project team $2,500 to distribute to federally registered charities on southern Vancouver Island.
Using Victoria’s Vital Signs®as a tool, the students learn about critical issues in their community. They then research potential charities, conducting interviews and on-site visits. Each participant provides input and the team as a whole decides how to allocate the grant funds. The team’s written recommendations are presented to the Victoria Foundation Board of Directors for final approval. A public ceremony is held each spring where the students present their grants to the beneficiary charities.
Philanthropy for the future
Each year, the Victoria Foundation provides a grant of $500 to a fund for each school participating in the Vital Youth program. This builds an endowment for future granting.
The benefits of participating in Vital Youth are lasting as well. Students gain analytical skills and an appreciation of philanthropy and community leadership that together support their future academic and professional endeavours. It is the hope of the Victoria Foundation that participants will be inspired to practice philanthropy and support the community throughout their lives.
Donors a vital part of Vital Youth
Donations support the Vital Youth program. We acknowledge the generosity of these supporters:
- Blair and Una H. Ferguson Fund
- Honorary Governors' Millennium Fund (including personal contributions from a number of our Honorary Governors)
- Robert and Jane Rogers Fund
- Saanich Peninsula Foundation Fund
- Victoria Foundation Vital Youth Program Fund (including contributions from various donors)
- Anonymous Donor
- Leora Nugent