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Youth Empowerment Society

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Youth Empowerment Society

Award Received

Chancellor's Community Recognition Award

Convocation Ceremony

Fall 2004 Convocation

The mission of the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society is to assist youth in removing themselves from a high-risk street environment and make the transition to a healthier, more constructive life. The society delivers programs to help youth make positive choices that prevent them from getting involved in high-risk behaviour.

The society was established in 1986 through the amalgamation of the Association of Street Kids and The Victoria Youth Development Society. At the time there were only four staff members and a budget of about $150,000 to run two core programs. Today the organization has almost 50 employees and a budget of about $2 million. It offers nine core programs at three locations around Victoria. Each of these core programs provides up to nine individual services for high-risk youth.

Among its wide array of support services for at-risk youth, YES coordinated a survey of 135 youth, the results of which led to the creation of a Life Skills Day Program. In partnership with private partners, the City of Victoria, Human Resources Development Canada and the United Way this program assists youth facing multiple barriers to housing, education and/or employment to gain new skills aimed at enhancing personal development.

The society also provides opportunities for direct service and indirect volunteer participation. As an example, its evening drop-in centre alone receives about 6,000 hours of volunteer time a year.

The society is represented by Executive Director, Mr. Pat Griffin and board member and City Councilor Helen Hughes.