It was a happy afternoon in Salmon Arm’s RBC Royal Bank, with lots of giving and receiving going on.
As part of RBC’s Future Launch Community Challenge, which is providing grants to inspiring youth-led projects in 150 small- and medium-sized communities across Canada, two Shuswap projects were on the receiving end of giant cheques.
Via a partnership between the Shuswap Community Foundation and RBC Foundation, a $15,000 grant went to RBC-Rotary-School District 83’s Shuswap Youth Leadership Day as well as $15,000 to the Mirella Project.
RBC Branch Manager Jason Bedford said RBC is always looking for ways to partner with youth through the community challenge, and is pleased to provide the funding to help kick-start projects.
Members of the community foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Advisory Committee, who helped choose the grant recipients, were also on hand for the cheque presentations on Nov. 20.
Plans are being worked out for Shuswap Youth Leadership Day, which will be a sort of made-in-the-Shuswap Me to We Day. It will be designed to inspire and empower youth aged 12 to 16 to think outside the box, to be passionate about their dreams and to encourage inclusive thinking.
Six main committee members – Maggie Beckner, Dayton Massey, Caillie Vicars, Abbi Paetsch, Carson Meikle and Mikayla Wilkinson – are organizing the day, which will not only be open to school district youth, but also to those who are homeschooled, in private school and other learning situations.
The Mirella Project works to create relationships with Indigenous youth and inspire environmental change within Shuswap communities.
“Our entire goal is to build community through saving the environment,” Mirella Ramsay said in an earlier interview about her vision. “We want to formulate relationships over an issue that requires a lot of attention and really matters.”
The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge is intended to enable youth to apply for funding to support their bold ideas. It is an opportunity for young people to lead, learn new skills, gain experience and build relationships in their local communities.