Youth With a Vision

“YouthCO’s Vision is to foster inclusive communities where youth empower youth to make informed decisions about their own well-being and work to end the stigma surrounding HIV and Hep C.”

YouthCO’s bold new vision statement, adopted as part of our 2012 strategic plan, has set the tone for what has been a transformative year at the organization.   A deliberate refocusing on community-building and individual empowerment, as well as on the overall social, mental and physical well-being of our clients has improved our ability to address the many obstacles that young people face when confronting HIV and Hep C.

How are we translating this vision into reality?

>> The Aboriginal Youth Program has expanded significantly, delivering workshops and trainings for youth throughout the province.  The program is building a network of passionate and informed young people who in turn are making a difference in their own communities throughout BC.  Check out the videos made during the recent First Direction train-the-trainer conference hosted by YouthCO.

>> The Mpowerment Project, YouthCO’s first community-level HIV prevention program for young gay men, is making waves as the first project of its kind in Canada.   The social focus of the program  makes it appealing to a broad cross-section of the community while challenging young guys to change their social networks’ attitudes towards safer sex, stigma and what it means to have healthy relationships.  Watch the project’s promo video then read the article profiling the program in a recent issue of Xtra.

>> Our newest project, the “Know on the Go” Sexual Health Clinic, is another Vancouver first and will be run as a collaboration between YouthCO and Vancouver Coastal Health.  This is a mobile outreach program meant to expand and normalize HIV testing in public spaces, at events and in hard-to-reach populations.  Take a sneak peek at the project here.

>> We are achieving our vision with the help of a dedicated and diverse group of funders, including a record number of corporate partners such as MAC  Cosmetics, TELUS, RBC, TD and Shangri-La Hotels.  These are in addition to the amazing support of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Interim First Nations Health Authority, Flygirl Productions, Big Roger Events and our “Friends with Benefits” individual donors.

I invite you to read through the YouthCO Post and then consider getting involved as a volunteer or monthly donor.  

Have a great summer!

Michael Reid

Community Engagement Manager

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