ParticipantWhen Matthew first discovered the Y’s youth programming, he was an introverted 13 year old who really only wanted to earn his volunteer hours.
“I was a very shy person,” he explains. “If I didn’t know you, I didn’t talk to you. I didn’t approach people.”
Being part of the Y’s Youth Leadership Development (YLD) Program and Teen Council changed all that.
“I’ve become the opposite of what I was before,” he says.
Matthew is now comfortable talking with others and helping them. As part of the Teen Council, which is comprised of youth from across the GTA, Matthew helps plan and run the Y’s successful weekend Teen Nights– something he finds very exciting.
“For each monthly meeting, we are encouraged to research different opportunities that will bring more youth to the program and give them what they need and want.”
“Teen Night really is a program that’s driven by youth for youth,” he says, adding this helps make Teen Night what kids really want. Now also a lifeguard and swim instructor at the Y, Matthew plans to go to university for engineering after he finishes high school next year. “The Y has given me the essential skills I need for the future,” he says.
The Y has changed my life.”See all impact stories