On behalf of YAA and our member agencies I would like to thank you for your partnership this past year. This year did not come without its challenges, and you have demonstrated your support by offering your time, resources, or expertise. You have allowed us to continue supporting youth serving agencies and the communities we all live, work, and play in, and we sincerely thank you for it.
During this time of year it is important to cherish the good memories that 2017 brought. Our Youth Council planned and hosted their first ever Youth Conference as an opportunity for alternative education – some of which was facilitated peer to peer! Our Rotary Leadership Circle and Camping programs saw more youth gaining confidence and coming into their own by getting engaged and trying new things. The annual Art Show – this year titled Community of Strength – showcased what youth felt their strengths were and how they can contribute to their community’s vitality. Artwork representing positivity, confidence, courage, bravery, culture and sharing made for a truly heartwarming exhibit. The second annual YAA Ballpark Lunch was another hit to close off our summer. Finally, we wrapped up the first year of a Youth Program Quality Assessment pilot and started into the second year with more agencies, more capacity building and more gusto. Exciting work to come with this project is our collective measurement and collective impact strategies.
I want to take a minute to dive deeper into our Rotary Leadership Circle. As our longest standing program through YAA, this program holds a special place in our hearts. As summer came around the RLC program was in serious jeopardy. We were humbled by the support we received, and we ultimately had 163 youth graduate from the program. This translated to 11,656 volunteer hours in the community, and $2,309.12 raised and donated back to various causes. Something really special for us to see was that of the 19 Site Coordinators this summer, 6 of them had been participants in the program in their younger years. We love seeing this cycle of giving back to community instilled in our young people.
Looking back we have many accomplishments to be proud of. The work we do with our member agencies has significant impact on the youth and families they serve, resulting in a stronger, healthier Winnipeg. Thank you once again for your friendship and support, and we hope to continue to grow our relationship throughout 2018!
Karen, Angeline and Mary-Lou