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Project North  


The YMCA plans to offer an innovative, 6 month-long youth leadership initiative for 12 students in Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 from Sarnia and surrounding First Nations Communities.  This project has been designed based upon the successful pilot's YMCA Project Kenya which occurred in Sarnia-Lambton in 2012-2013, Project Guatemala in Chatham-Kent in 2014-2015 and most recently Project North 2017, 2018 & 2019. 

The YMCA’s Youth Leadership Initiative has been designed to build upon the mission based priorities of the YMCA’s rich tradition of providing quality, values based programs and services for young people.  This unique project will involve participants in a wide variety of leadership development experiences with a special focus on community service and philanthropy.  Successful applicants will gain insight into their personal leadership potential and abilities, group dynamics, communication, volunteerism and philanthropy as well as developing a new perspective and sense of responsibility as members of the global community.  

After months of training, raising money and research and planning, participants will participate in a trip to Alberta, Canada.  While in Alberta, the group will partner with local communities and their youth in hands-on community service projects.  Additionally, the group will have an opportunity to participate in a guided outdoor adventure and visit and experience some of the unique cultural and natural highlights in this part of the country.  

Project Impact

This project has many potential impacts.  It will bring together a group of 12 young people from Sarnia who have committed to an incredible, 6 month-long leadership development initiative.  These participants will be asked to be extremely motivated to learn and grow and make a difference in their community.  This project will create an opportunity for the YMCA to work in partnership with the community, including Sarnia’s surrounding First Nation’s communities.  The project should also help to increase the profile for the YMCA as an organization committed to youth and leadership development.  

The project creates a tremendous opportunity for participants to learn more about fundraising and to embrace philanthropy by working to contribute to their community as well as a community development project.  The impact of 12 young people fully engaged in developing their leadership potential will have a cumulative impact on their families, schools, friends and the greater community.


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