Each of the 24 Vancouver Park Board community centres provides opportunities for youth to gain volunteering experience. There are varying opportunities that are site dependent. Some opportunities include, event planning as part of a committee, special event set-up and clean-up, computer mentoring, assisting with programs for children, volunteering at a concession, youth room supervision, administrative assistance, etc.
Each community centre offers a variety of training for local youth. Trainings can include leadership development, planning, self-advocacy skills, career goal setting and planning, problem solving, effective communication, conflict resolution skills, Food Safe, first aid, public speaking, resume writing, interview skills, and more.
We are developing a Leadership Certification Program to acknowledge youth involvement at their community centre and in their community.
The Vancouver Police Department Cadet Program is a community-based youth program that brings together high school students from grades 10 to 12, and gives them the tools to maximize their personal potential.
Emphasis is placed on the five VPD Core Values: integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence. There is no cost to join and everything is provided throughout the year.
In 2018 the City Wide Youth Council identified a lack of youth-only spaces in Vancouver and wanted to learn about other young people’s perspectives on youth spaces.
They created a survey, distributed it across the city, and received 542 completed responses.
Key findings were:
80% of all youth responded ‘yes’ that they needed a youth only space, with an even higher percentage from female (88%) and 2SLGBTQ+ (85%) youth
80% of youth surveyed believed that youth spaces should exist in all centres, 91% of youth identifying as female answered yes to this question.
82% of all youth surveyed believed that community centres should have a youth worker, 91% of youth identifying as female responded yes to this question.
70% of all youth feel that program fees prevent or somewhat prevent them from participating in program with an even higher percentage of female (75%) and 2SLGBTQ+ (75%) youth feeling cost is a barrier for their participation