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YMCA Expands New Career & Mentorship Program for Local BIPOC Youth

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RBC Foundation donates $245,000 over two years extending reach of YMCA Youth of Tomorrow Program for BIPOC Youth Across Hamilton, Burlington & Grand Erie Regions

November 7, 2022 – Across Hamilton, Burlington and Brantford, BIPOC youth continue to experience inequities accessing appropriate education and employment. StatsCan studies indicate, BIPOC youth are less likely to enroll in post-secondary education and streamed into applied programs more frequently in high school. Through the employment process, BIPOC youth and adults may face discrimination through the search process due to several factors such as their name, lack of experience or simply because they are a recent immigrant. 

Following a successful pilot in 2021, the YMCA is expanding their YMCA Youth of Tomorrow program, a career exploration and mentorship program for local BIPOC youth [ages 15-29], designed to help combat these inequities. Through the support of $245,000 over two years from RBC Foundation, the YMCA Youth of Tomorrow program will include an annual career exploration conference featuring leaders from the science, health care, and skilled trades sectors, as well as a paid work experience for program participants, and 6-month mentorship program with BIPOC leaders and community members. RBC Foundation funding will support expanded delivery of the program through to 2024.

This collaboration builds on RBC Future Launch’s 10-year, $500 million commitment to helping Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow and an initial donation to the YMCA’s program of $100,000 from RBC Foundation in 2021. More than 140 local BIPOC youth participated in the 2021/2022 YMCA Youth of Tomorrow pilot program. Through the support of RBC, an additional 200 BIPOC youth will be served by the program each year.

“Removing systemic barriers, accessing appropriate education, finding strong adult mentors, and building self-confidence and a sense of purpose, are all critical supports and strengths that help young people thrive now and, in the future,” says Manny Figueiredo, President & CEO, YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford. “We’re grateful for the support of RBC, which will allow us to expand the YMCA Youth of Tomorrow program and positively impact more BIPOC youth across our communities. This is an investment in the future of our young people and our communities.”

Participants will also have an opportunity to apply their learnings at an annual Youth of Tomorrow Job Fair that will be hosted for program participants. Youth of Tomorrow program participants will gain valuable industry knowledge from local experts, gain insights from BIPOC community leaders on navigating systems and grow their work experience for their future.

"Ensuring the leaders of tomorrow have equitable opportunities to learn, grow and develop today is critical to building more inclusive future of work," said Carmela Trombetta, Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, Greater Hamilton, RBC. "We are excited to build on our initial collaboration with the YMCA on their Youth of Tomorrow program to continue bringing the promise of RBC Future Launch to life for BIPOC youth across the country."


Media Contact:

Kyla Kumar, Vice President
Marketing, Communications, Information Technology & Government Relations
YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford
C: 289-921-1187