New program supports youth-led community projects

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Northern Youth Abroad (NYA), the program begun in Nunavut in 1998 to “cultivate youth leadership, individual career goals, cross-cultural awareness, and international citizenship amongst youth aged 15 to 22” has launched a new program.

Northern Youth in Service seeks to support community-based programs, which is a different focus than the not-for-profit’s Canadian Program, International Program, and NYA Next.

Nunavut News reached out to the organization.

“For Northern Youth in Service, we are funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Services Corps, so we cannot officially release the project through the media until they have approved the communications,” stated communications and program assistant Alissa Dotto.

Nevertheless, the program has an application deadline of Aug. 6, and the organization has reached out through social media and its alumni network to get the word out. The program has 10 applicants so far.

“It is a new program from NYA to help youth develop their leadership capacity, their job skills, and will help them start a community-based project,” according to the web page dedicated to the new program.

Inuit, First Nations and Metis youth between the ages of 15 and 25, and living in the one of the three territories, can apply.

The organization defines a community-based project as “any type of project in your community!”

“It can include starting programs, building something, starting a group. Whatever helps your community and develops your skills and leadership,” states the NYA, adding a project doesn’t have to be completely planned out, but youth should have an area of interest.

Participants will be selected in late August or early September and will then be paired with a mentor to work on developing, planning, and starting the community-based project over a six-month period. Selection includes $500 in funding, and help with applying for other funds in the future.

Youth can apply via the organization’s website at nya.ca/nyis