We'd like to share with you a letter from a parent who wrote about their child's YPI experience.  If you'd like to know more about YPI or if you’re interested in YPI for your child’s secondary school, please contact us.


Dear fellow parents,

I am writing to tell you about the wonderful journey my son had through his YPI experience and the unanticipated benefits we all garnered as a family.

At the dinner table a few months back my 14 year old son Taylen was describing an English homework assignment he was working on.  He was asked to research needs in our community and to identify organizations dedicated to addressing those needs.  The assignment was somewhat out of the ordinary and he struggled a little on where to start.  I suggested that he approach it by thinking about the different centres and service providers in our neighbourhood, and the people they help.  I prompted the discussion with talking about the firehall food drives and the spiritual guidance offered by the churches in the neighbourhood.  He came up with community centre programs and the services offered by hospitals to veterans, mentally ill and all sorts of people with medical conditions. Once he had identified the needs, he went online and found many organizations with mandates geared to addressing those needs.  In no time his list grew to be much longer than he needed to hand in.

I was satisfied that he completed his assignment and I was pleased about the awareness he developed about community needs and services.  What I hadn’t realized was that this assignment was only the first step in the YPI journey.  The dialogue we had at dinner that evening was the first of many rich, valuable conversations to come.

During the course of the program Taylen and his group of three classmates were asked to further explore the community needs and charities they had each identified and to select a single one to support as a group.  Their support entailed conducting primary and secondary research on their chosen charity and developing a compelling digital media presentation that would convince their fellow classmates and a selection panel that their charity deserved a donation of $5,000 to be awarded through the YPI trust.  The kids found the premise of the program a bit incredible - the fact that YPI was giving away these awards to the winning charities was hard for them to grasp.  The monetary reward was very motivating, and they dove in with full steam.   

The program was a wonderful experience.  It opened up a whole new world that my son hadn’t studied intellectually before.  As a member of society, he is exposed to people with various needs, but I don’t think he had really thought about the full breadth of needs that exist, or the resources required to address those needs. He gained a deep appreciation for those in need, and a tremendous amount of respect for the wonderful people who were devoted to the welfare of others.   We have family members with mental illness and depression, and I believe the YPI program really helped my son realize that they have many dedicated people and support mechanisms to turn to for help.  

YPI has matured Taylen.  He has gained a better appreciation of societal needs and it has allowed him to start identifying the causes he believes in and is willing to invest in.  I look forward to supporting him in this next journey as well.

Laura Sousa

Parent, Toronto, Canada