Celebrating Inspirational Youth Leaders at United Way’s

2015 Youth Now Awards

VICTORIA, BC – United Way and the Inter-municipal Youth Service Providers of Greater Victoria are proud to introduce the 17th Annual Youth Now Award Recipients. Over 1,000 incredible young people between the ages of 11 and 29 have been recognized for their outstanding contributions as volunteers and community leaders since the Youth Now Awards began in 1999.

groupYNAwardsYoung people have been part of United Way’s work for over 15 years and their voices are deeply rooted in their annual activities. From seeking feedback from youth during the funding application process, to recognizing youth contributions at the youth awards, special events encouraging volunteerism, facilitating two volunteer youth-run councils for expertise, and the latest Youth in Action projects in Hillside/Quadra and Esquimalt, the United Way values and respects the opinions of young people.

In 2014, United Way invested close to $1.2 Million to support over 11,000 children and youth to grow up healthy and achieve success (as part of their overall $4.9 Million investment into the community). United Way’s priority area All that Kids Can Be works to ensure that every infant grows into a healthy child; every child has the support they need to start and succeed in school; and every young person makes a successful transition into the workforce or post secondary school.

Click here for the event photo gallery. Read an article published by media sponsor Black Press celebrating Youth Now Award recipients.

The 2015 Youth Now Award recipients include:

Individual Volunteer Award – Age 15-19
Shaheen is an active volunteer with Power To Be, helping youth build their confidence through adventures in nature. Shaheen has a deep appreciation for the opportunities that have helped him succeed and wants to provide others the same opportunities.


Individual Volunteer Award – Age 20-29
Chelsea is a presenter volunteer with NEED2’s school program. Her calm, relaxed and warm demeanor provides a safe environment for students to talk about their struggles and begin the conversation about the importance of discussing mental health and wellness.


Green Award

Hannah has been maintaining a garden at Reynold’s Secondary School which grows produce for a weekly organic salad bar serving over 100 students and staff. Alongside helping her school to be more sustainable, she shares her passion for the environment by teaching elementary school students organic gardening skills.


Group Volunteer Award

This group of aspiring youth volunteers through the Sierra Club get together on a weekly basis to discuss local and national environmental issues, engage in restoration projects in Greater Victoria, participate in two yearly camping trips and organize a community action project each year.


Big Change Award
Willow has overcome challenges in her life to become a strong, confident, energetic young woman passionate about social issues and making the world a safe and inclusive place for all. She shares her experiences to advocate for others and promotes fairness and inclusion.


Youth Worker Award
Kaitlyn is a dedicated youth worker for the Fairfield Gonzales Community’s Association’s Jump N Start and Youth Leadership programs. She is also a mental health and addictions support worker for Island Community Mental Health, helping youth find and maintain housing. In addition, she is a crisis support worker/ counselor in a local youth emergency shelter.


Youth Friendly Business/Organization Award
Youthspace.ca volunteers work passionately around the clock to provide an anonymous and confidential chat service. The group’s main purpose is to provide support to distressed youth in need of a patient and considerate ear.

United Way & the Youth Now Council would like to thank our event partners: Black Press, The Intermunicipal Recreation Youth Programmers’ Committee and Cedar Hill Recreation Centre for their support in making this event such a success.

About Youth Now Council

The United Way’s Youth Now Council exists to promote leadership and volunteerism among youth. Aged between 15 and 19, youth council members make funding and policy recommendations to the United Way Board for approval; plan the annual Youth Now Leadership Awards program as well as conferences and other opportunities for capacity building and learning for youth; provide support for the community campaign; and connect with other Youth Councils throughout the Greater Victoria region.


Heather Skydt, Communications Director
United Way Greater Victoria
Ph: 250-984-2269 heather.skydt@uwgv.ca