CYI Kick Off Event brings Groups Together

  • July 7, 2022

    Posted by: Gloria Dovoh

    The Community Youth Innovators Program is designed to engage diverse and passionate groups of youth from across Manitoba and support their efforts to make a difference in their communities. With support from the RBC Future Launch program, as well as the Winnipeg Foundation and Canada Life, the program provides an opportunity for groups to create their own projects to serve a cause or community they are passionate about.

    Volunteer Manitoba chose six groups to participate in the program this year, four of them from Winnipeg, one group from Brandon, and one group from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. As a part of the learning process, all six groups were invited to spend two days in Winnipeg for the CYI Kick-Off event. Groups were able to network with each other and staff, and were given training in project planning, volunteer engagement and how to market their projects - special thanks to Matthew Rempel, Isaura Clark and Alyson Shane for their expertise in these areas!

    Keynote Speaker Wilfred Sam-King

    Our keynote speaker was Wilfred Sam-King, who shared his personal story of growing up in Sierra Leone and his experience when he first moved to Canada. He shared his entrepreneurial journey; from starting a snow shovelling business when he was a child to his current professional projects and how he founded a non-profit organization, the Rising Star Foundation. The groups and staff were very moved by Wilfred's story and all that he has overcome. A key takeaway from Wilfred's keynote was when he discussed the importance of networking, which got participants asking interesting questions and created a very productive conversation.

    After the keynote address, groups participated in an icebreaker activity to foster networking. The activity was so popular we had youth participants asking for more time to chat with one another. After groups got to know each other personally, they shared with everyone a quick presentation on their projects. Groups started asking each other questions about their projects, and many gave great suggestions regarding different resources which could be used for different projects.

    Session One - Project Planning with Matthew Rempel

    Our first facilitator, Matthew Rempel, taught project planning to the groups. Matthew had different worksheet activities for the groups to complete on project planning. After Matthew's workshop, Volunteer Manitoba invited participants for dinner at the Rec Room and provided tickets for everyone to play arcade games after dinner. Groups stayed at the hotel for the night which made it easier for them to attend the second day.

    Session Two - Volunteer Engagement with Isaura Clark

    Participants arrived bright and early Saturday morning for breakfast and some more networking. Then we kicked off day two with Isaura Clark, who facilitated a great workshop on volunteer engagement. Groups learned about different strategies when it comes to volunteer recruitment. Isaura shared different ideas to recognize the work of their volunteers, which is vital for many of the groups who would need volunteers to help with their projects.

    Final Session - Marketing with Alyson Shane

    We had a final workshop with Alyson Shane who did a fantastic job addressing several marketing strategies which are essential for every project to present itself on social media and get more recognition. Alyson shared different strategies regarding marketing your project on several social media platforms.

    Next Steps...
    Now that the groups have learned from these subject matter experts, and have received the resources and supports to go ahead with their projects, they are now ready to implement their community projects!

    To learn about each of the Community Youth Innovator groups, visit our website

    We cannot wait to see how their ideas come to life and make a difference in their communities!



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