YPI grant program returns to HHSS
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | June 28, 2017
Two months ago, Haliburton Highlands Secondary School (HHSS) was one of 80 schools in the country put on the wait-list for the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). In nine years, it distributed $45,000 to nine local charities through the Grade 10 civics program.
But it was recently announced that HHSS would be included in the 2017-18 roster thanks to a major funding increase from TD Bank. The long-term partner of 12 years has doubled its annual contribution to $500,000, making it possible for 20,000 students nationwide to participate in the program in the upcoming school year.
Paul Longo, a civics teacher at the school, was delighted to hear the news.
“We are very happy and excited to be back with YPI,” said Longo. “The Toskan Casale Foundation has been extremely generous to Haliburton County [over the years] and the HHSS civics classes are looking forward to working with them again.”
YPI was founded by the Toskan Casale Foundation in 2002. Since then, more than $14 million in grants have been distributed by youth worldwide.
Each year, civics students worked in groups to research a local charity and present their findings to their teacher and classmates. The top five presentations advanced to the playoffs, where they were judged by the previous year’s winning group and a YPI staff member. The successful group received a cheque for $5,000 to give to their charity.
In Haliburton County, more than 1,400 students have participated in the program. Local organizations that have benefitted include Community Care (now Community Support Services), SIRCH Community Services (two years), Highlands Community Pregnancy Care Centre, Minden Food Bank, Haliburton 4Cs Food Bank, Places for People, Volunteer Dental Outreach for Haliburton County, and Community Living Haliburton County.
Holly McLellan, executive director of YPI Canada, told The Highlander this additional funding has made it possible to take most of the schools off the wait-list.
McLellan said that by 2020 they intend to distribute $1 million in grants annually across the country and offer the program to 200 schools.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.