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The Challenge

All young people deserve to thrive

There is an opportunity gap in our communities. Too often, young people’s race, ethnicity, economic status, or postal code determines which doors are open to them and which remain closed. It’s not that these young people can’t achieve—they’re not given the opportunity to. 

We know what is holding them back. Research has long shown that income is the most important predictor of a healthy life. More important than lifestyle or genetics, the amount of money a child’s family has—and their ability to access the basics like food, clothing, stable housing, and an education—can set the trajectory for their life on wildly different paths, affecting everything from academic performance and the formation of stable relationships to physical and emotional wellbeing. 

That’s what the research says. Now here’s what we’re facing. One in five young children live in poverty in Canada and the number is one in four among Indigenous youth.[1]  In the United States, nearly 12 million kids—one in seven nationwide—live in poverty, with millions more hovering perilously close. 

If we want all young people to thrive and reach their potential, we have to bridge this opportunity gap. 

That’s why we do what we do—to bridge the gap and open doors for youth.

[1] Sarangi, Leila. Campaign 2000. Retrieved on June 1st 2021 from https://campaign2000.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Campaign-2000-Beyond-the-Pandemic_Rising-up-for-a-Canada-free-of-Poverty_2020-report-card.pdf

Barriers

Financial

Youth living in poverty are more likely to face limited access to opportunities beyond their communities to expand their horizon as well as fewer opportunities to form fruitful relationships with mentors and guides. These directly impact a young persons self conception, resilience, and social and emotional wellbeing and development.

Environmental

Communities of colour and newcomers have faced inequities in terms of access to nature and camp-based programs. These inequities have hindered youth in those communities from developing the social and emotional skills, resilience, and strength that can come from camp-based leadership programming.