Minister Ralph Goodale was in Regina Wednesday to announce a $5 million investment over five years to the YMCA’s mentorship program.
The Plus One mentoring program offers at-risk youth mentorship to help the kids with the day-to-day problems they face.
Minister Goodale says overall the YMCA does great work for Canada’s at risk youth.
“There are 47 YMCA member associations in communities all across the country, serving more two million people from more than 1,000 Canadian locations every year,” Goodale says. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, thank you for every thing that you do to add to the quality of life everywhere across this country.”
Interm CEO of YMCA Regina Darryl McKenzie says the funding will be well used.
“We welcome hundreds of thousands of children and youth every year into our child care centres, after school programs, camps, and youth outreach programs at various facilities across the country,” McKenzie says. “Our goal is to support all stages of development from early childhood, to adolescence, to young adults so all can grow and mature into healthy, confident and productive adults.”
Up to 720 kids between the ages of 10 to 17 could benefit from the mentorship programming across Canada, including 200 here in Regina.
Miranda Reid is a volunteer mentor currently in the plus one mentorship program, and says the programming is showing serious results.
“I have recently found out according to the administration at my mentee’s school, since starting the program her engagement in school has significantly improved and her overall mood and attitude has improved somewhat as well,” Reid says. “I have been able to see first-hand the power of positive relationships, and the outcomes that follow from building these respectable, safe, and trusting relationships.”
Moncton, Montreal, Surrey and Regina YMCA`s will be receiving the funding, which will be used to train volunteers to individually mentor kids during a one-year commitment.