May 13, 2015 - Duncan, BC, Canada – Providing experiences that engage young people in creating social change and helping them grow compassionate communities is the goal of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) in Canada. Now, thanks to the hard work of three Queen Margaret’s School (QMS) Grade 9 students, one of our vital charities in Duncan will benefit from a $5,000 grant.
Each year, the YPI offers grants to fund grass-roots charities, solely based on the efforts of high school aged students from around the world who act as their advocates. YPI is the signature program of the Toskan Casale Foundation, based in Toronto, Canada. The Toskan Casale Foundation manages the YPI in Canada and the United States.
QMS students Madison Heisterman, Alexis Elliott and Haleigh Bodner selected the Sundrops Centre for Child Development for their YPI research project. The Clement’s Centre Society operates the program which offers various levels of assistance to local children who are at risk of/or have a developmental delay or disability, through development consultation which includes speech and language, physical and occupational therapy.
Heisterman, Elliott and Bodner engaged in research on the Sundrops Centre through personal interviews and visits, then presented a compelling argument in front of a panel of student peers, QMS faculty and staff, and Vancouver Island YPI representative, Fiona MacInnes. They faced intense competition for the grant dollars from other QMS student teams who were battling for charities such as Glenora Farm, the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association, the Cowichan Intercultural Society, the Cowichan Food Basket Society and the Community Options Society.
“All three of us love children,” said Alexis Elliott. “This money will help the society buy new occupational therapy equipment such as walkers, which are very expensive.” The girls were very excited about winning the grant for their chosen charity. “Thank you so much,” exclaimed Haleigh Bodner. “These funds will be put into action immediately to assist children who really need it.”
“I’m very proud of all our Grade 9 students,” stated Debbie Cook, QMS Senior School Principal. “Their passion for and knowledge about their selected organizations was evident in each thoughtfully crafted presentation. The judges had to make a very difficult decision.” The winning group is looking forward to presenting the grant money to the Clement’s Centre Society in the coming weeks.