YCI - Youth for Change and Inclusion

About

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to collaborate with community members, local agencies and schools in an effort to engage youth surrounding issues of social justice, responsible citizenship and leadership.

Through this experience the youth learn to believe in themselves and are empowered to prevent conflict in their schools and community.

OUR STORY

In 1999 Kiersten Brookes was teaching at Colquitz and committed to taking students to a multiculturalism camp run by school district #61.  The camp had been run on and off for several years with funding from Canadian Heritage and in this particular year the Beastie Boys were a contributor to the camp funding.  The organizers needed a male chaperone for the trip and Kiersten ‘volunteered’ her husband Paul.  Paul had been a police officer for 9 years and was not keen on spending 4 days with teenagers discussing multicultural issues but he knew it was the right thing to do.  The impact the camp had on Paul was immense.  Paul realized that he did not know the issues as well as he should and saw that there were great youth who wanted to make a difference who needed this type of experience.  The funding dried up for this initiative and the school district advised that it would not be running any future camps.  Paul also saw how important police involvement was in this learning and that the program could be expanded to include broader outcomes.  Paul approached S/Sgt Kevin Worth and sought approval to seek funding and organize a similar camp.

S/Sgt Worth supported Paul in this endeavor and Paul applied to Canadian Heritage and Coast Capital Savings for funding. In the fall of 2002 the funding came in and Paul began organizing the inaugural camp. Judy Tethong and Paul brainstormed about names for the initiative and came up with Youth Combating Intolerance (YCI).

In September 2003 Paul ran the first YCI camp at Camp Columbia on Thetis Island with the help of Cst’s Michael Gee (Saanich PD), Peter Gill (VPD) and Todd Wellman (VPD).  In 2012 the name for YCI was changed from Youth Combating Intolerance to Youth for Change and Inclusion as it more closely reflects the spirit of YCI.

2017 STAFF

SPONSORS

Victoria Police Dept.Coast Capital SavingsGreater Victoria School District #61

PARTICIPANTS

Saanich Police Dept.