CBT grants $100,000 for local youth projects

Revelstoke is among the first communities to receive $100,000 each over the next four years through the Columbia Basin Trust’s new Community-Directed Youth Funds (CDYF) program.

The CDYF is intended to support services for youth ages 12-19 by increasing activities, opportunities and services available to them. The program will be open to the remaining Basin communities over the next two years.

“We are very excited to be putting funds in the hands of communities to benefit youth in their specific regions,” Wayne Lundeberg, the CBT’s director for Youth Initiatives, said in a statement. “These first communities demonstrated a readiness to come together in a collaborative manner to set priorities, address issues in their regions and enhance activities and services for their youth.”

The six pilot communities and their surrounding areas that will begin the program this winter are: Revelstoke, Golden, New Denver/Silverton, Salmo/Ymir, Crawford Bay/Riondel, and Montrose/Fruitvale/Beaver Valley.

“Revelstoke had a very strong application to the CDYF program,” says Revelstoke’s Social Development Coordinator Jill Zacharias. “We had the committee in place, we had done the Youth Action Plan, we had 17 letters of support from community organizations. So although it wasn’t a huge surprise, it was still so exciting to hear. This is a very wonderful opportunity for youth in our community.”

The City has a Youth Initiative Committee, whose membership includes youth and a wide variety of youth-serving organizations. Zacharias and Mary Kline, program director at Okanagan College, spearheaded the committee last year. The Revelstoke Community Foundation serves as the host organization. The YIC acted as the steering committee for the Youth Action Plan, completed last July. The structure of YIC is based on the Early Childhood Development Committee model, whose success is rooted in community partnerships, pooling resources, and proactive planning.

Zacharias said the first step is a CBT-facilitated planning event to review the recommendations of the Youth Action Plan and decide on the best course of action.

The CBT works with youth and communities to increase youth opportunities and engagement through enhancing capacity, leadership and participation. In addition to this new program, CBT also funds youth developed projects through the Columbia Basin Youth Grants program and provides a forum for youth in the Columbia Basin to share their art, ideas and experiences with each other through SCRATCH magazine and www.scratchonline.ca.

The CBT delivers economic, social and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about its programs and initiatives, visit www.cbt.org or call 1-800-505-8998.