A Peninsula youth group received a financial boost that will see them move closer to opening up a safe and inclusive space in the community.
The South Surrey/White Rock Youth Collective received $1,000 from the Aviva Community Fund competition in the wild-card category this month.
In December, the group had made it to the semi-finals for a grand prize of $100,000, when they were informed they had not moved on to the finals.
The group is also the recipient of a $4,681 Vancouver Foundation Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC) Grant.
“The YPC grants empower young people in Vancouver to take action on issues they care about,” Jessie Kergan, a youth and family worker at Alexandra Neighbourhood House working with the group to bring the youth space to fruition, said in a news release Wednesday.
“They support programs that encourage youth growth, promote youth voice and increase opportunities for youth participation.
“This grant is specifically to support youth collective program activities.”
Kergan added that the youth collective will continue to fundraise and bring awareness of the youth space project in the coming months.
Made up of teens from all walks of life and varied backgrounds – including some who have struggled through adversity – the group has come together and been actively working on the project since September 2013 with guidance from Kergan and her supervisor, Maxine Larmour.
The White Rock Youth Collective is envisioning a space (approximately 2,500 square feet) that would be a place for teens to just hang out and meet new friends or try drop-in programs and other activities, including DJing or even something arts-related.