Fundraising Priorities

Youth Employment Training Programs

Your generosity can help vulnerable and at-risk youth develop life skills and provide a network of support through the Linking Employment, Abilities and Development Program (LEAD) and Youth Culinary Arts Program (YCAP).

The LEAD program gives vulnerable youth ages 15-24 the tools they need to break free from homelessness, unemployment and poverty. Youth work on core life skills like interpersonal communications, financial literacy, teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution and decision making. We can help them build a resume and prepare for job interviews, assist with the job search and even make that initial connection with an employer to set them on the path to success.

“Most of these kids have never had anyone say ‘I believe in you.’ To finally give them a chance – to trust them – I can’t even tell you what that means to them.”- John Wynne, Youth Employment Counsellor

YCAP participants learn hands-on culinary skills in a commercial kitchen while receiving direct support for their mental health and basic needs like housing, groceries and transportation for school and work.

Both a professional chef and Youth and Family Counsellor help these young people develop job readiness skills over eight weeks in a safe, structured environment that prepares them for the demands of employment and helps them transition to independence.

“…the circumstances of my life, the things I was doing at the time, and the bad choices I was making, I never even expected to live past 13. I'm almost 19 now and I’m finally content with where my life’s taken me. I’d never imagined I could have made it to where I am now. And I’m eternally grateful to all the supports that helped me along the way, including my time at YCAP. They’re what made me want to be a better me. Thank you to all of those who got me here.”- Michelle H., YCAP graduate and youth mentor

To learn how you can help shape the future of vulnerable youth, please contact Lori Humphrey Clements, Director of Fund Development, at lori.humphreyclements@woodshomes.ca or 403-270-1718.