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Every year, the Central Okanagan Foundation and United Way’s GenNext put out a call for applications for youth-led projects that support people or programs in the community. This year proved to be very competitive with a record number of applications. Five projects based in the Central Okanagan and South Okanagan have been selected.

“The many applications we received for excellent, creative youth-led projects speaks to the outstanding commitment that young people throughout the region have for their communities,” says Sherry Ferronato, Director of Community Investment & Wellness at United Way Southern Interior BC. “The support that GenNext and Central Okanagan Foundation youth volunteers provide to make the Youth Initiative Grants possible, is a further testament to the outstanding contribution that young people are making locally.”

The Youth Initiative Grant recipients for 2021 are:

-Amazing Race, CRIS Adaptive Adventures
-Composting Project, Okanagan Mission Secondary (Central Okanagan Public Schools/SD #23)
-Increasing Inclusion and Awareness through Arts, South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services
-Penticton Overdose Response Project, UBC Okanagan Campus Health in collaboration with Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy
-Westside Learning Centre Farm Initiative, Central Okanagan Public Schools/SD #23

“It is inspiring to see the drive and passion youth have to make meaningful differences in our community,” says Abbie Norrish, Coordinator of Grants & Community Initiatives at the Central Okanagan Foundation. “The diversity, creativity and thoughtfulness of this years’ applications was truly incredible.“

These grants are available to young people up to age 25 who are partnering with an organization to create positive change in their local community. A committee comprising of youth representatives from the Central Okanagan Foundation and GenNext Kelowna met in late March to review the applications and make funding decisions.

For more information, visit:


Youth Initiative Grant funding will be available again in early 2022.