Fostering Civic Engagement and Student Voice through the Youth & Philanthropy Initiative

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI Canada) is a public charitable foundation that offers a multi-award-winning free school program that grows compassionate communities by connecting youth to social issues, local charities, and philanthropy at a pivotal stage in their adolescence. Participating schools receive a $5,000 grant for their students to direct to a local social service charity through the program, in which students across the country and internationally engage in project-based learning about their communities. YPI grants hundreds of thousands of dollars to community-based charities each year, 100% decided by thousands of teenagers.

Several schools in BC are currently participating in YPI this year, where it is typically housed in the Social Studies and/or Career Life Education program. Teachers at participating schools are provided a comprehensive suite of resources and activities that are linked to the curriculum. These schools are part of a national community of schools across Canada; some of whom have been participating for 17 years. Since 2002, YPI has spread to four countries, engaged over half a million students in participatory grant-making, and granted $19 million to charities. Students are developing skills and learning about social issues, but more importantly, they are learning to care deeply about their communities by discovering issues that matter to them and meeting real people who are affecting positive change.

Join us to learn more about YPI and to hear about the student and community outcomes for participating schools in BC. YPI is growing in the coming years, and is seeking additional school partners to join the program.

Target Audience



10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

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  • Kate Gatto

    Kate Gatto (she/her) is the National Program Director at the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Canada. With over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector managing education programs locally, nationally, and globally, Kate is dedicated to empowering youth to be civically engaged leaders in their communities. She approaches this work through social justice education programming in collaboration with students, educators and community partners. Through this work, Kate has served at organizations like TakingITGlobal, IDRF, YMCA, and CAMH, and she is currently a board member at People for Education, and a member of the Advisory Council at Rawlinson Community School. Kate earned an M.Ed from Brock University, where she studied the social and cultural contexts of education, and completed her B.A. in English Literature at the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.

  • Noor El-Husseini

    Noor (she/her) is a second-generation refugee to Turtle Island and grew up in Montreal and Ottawa, on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka and unceded Algonquin land. She is an educator and poet interested in community-directed, antiracist and anti-oppressive approaches to education. Her passions involve using spoken word poetry as a way to listen to otherwise underrepresented, marginalized and racialized youth voices tell their counternarratives by naming, challenging and resisting systemic oppression.  Outside her role, Noor enjoys backpacking, farming and sustainability, as well as producing podcasts around dismantling barriers to equity in education through her volunteering with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture.