Our Story

YPI was founded by the Toskan Casale Foundation, the original Canadian creators of MAC Cosmetics.


YPI’s story begins in 2002, but its values are rooted in the experience of the MAC AIDS Fund, when values-driven decisions were made to engage and empower the public to stand up for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.


YPI’s model began as a humble yet elegant idea: to strengthen support for local social issues by empowering young people to determine where grant dollars would be best put to use in their own communities. Today, this model – community development achieved through youth engagement – now enjoys strong alignment with significant evidence-based research across academic journals, governmental priorities, and established and emerging theoretical frameworks for positive youth development.


Over the past fifteen years, the Toskan Casale Foundation, together with The Wood Foundation in Scotland, and our generous funders on both sides of the Atlantic, have grown YPI into an international multi-award-winning social service program that has directed over $15 million in grants to charities across Canada, the United Kingdom and New York City, 100% through the choices of over 450,000 informed and empowered secondary students.