Youth Development Initiatives
For over 15 years, BBNC has served southwest Scarborough youth populations facing complex barriers to successful pathways. Since 2007, we offered many youth-led leadership, multi-media arts, wellness and civic engagement programs at our satellite Youth Drop-in Centre on Kingston Road. Serving over 300 youth annually, our services included a safe, inclusive drop-in space, pre-employment services, information and referrals, advocacy, volunteer opportunities and informal counselling.
A high percentage of the youth we serve report being underemployed and at risk of or facing poverty. Over 85 percent are youth of colour and many are recent immigrants facing settlement barriers. BBNC prioritizes low income youth for service, reducing multiple access barriers through leadership and capacity building programming, and linking youth to community services.
BBNC Youth Program Takes a New Direction!
On September 30th 2016, BBNC ended a valuable chapter in our centre's story by closing our Youth Drop-in Centre after 9 years of operation. This choice was mainly due to our new strategic direction to expand our youth work's community impact by shifting more resources to our successful collaborations with service providers supporting Scarborough youth. In the past 4 years, we incorporated a stronger community impact model, working as trustee of the Eglinton East-Kennedy Park Youth Service Providers Network (EEKPYSPN) of over 20 partner agencies. As our youth department transitions, we are running our youth programs out of our main site at 93 Birchmount Road while partnering on off-site youth programming and initiatives.
BBNC sends a Thank You Shout Out to the countless youth who have engaged with our drop-in centre over the years. We also acknowledge our great partners who worked hand in hand with us to serve Scarborough area youth.
For more info on our youth development initiatives, please contact Kevin, our Youth Development Initiatives Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Youth Unleashed (Youth Advisory Council)
Our Youth Advisory Council provides strong youth leadership to our youth-development program work. Aspiring youth leaders jumpstart and lead new projects that address youth needs, expand leadership and personal development skills, and conduct civic engagement activities that promote youth voices and youth empowerment.
Thursdays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
DIVA Girls Group (Dedicated Independent Valued and Accepted)
A cool after-school program where teen girls come together in a safe space, discuss key issues they face, share peer support and engage their community by running cool events or projects.
Tuesdays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Girls Aged: 14 to 18.
Growing Leadership (Youth Summer Program)
A youth summer program that strives to build the leadership capacity of community youth to make positive contributions to their community through councillor-in-training workshops, peer-led neighbourhood games for children and youth and revitalizing community gardens.
Community Involvement and Volunteering
A high number of high school youth contribute to their community while completing community service hours through the centre. Our youth leaders also collaborate with youth networks on civic initiatives that advance the voices of Toronto youth.
Location: BBNC's Main Site:93 Birchmount Road (at Kingston Rd.)
Eglinton East-Kennedy Park Youth Service Providers Network
As a core network partner, a member of its Steering Committee, and administrator of its grant projects, BBNC is at the forefront of youth development in southwest Scarborough. Our network collaborates on key projects, including:
Partners organize and run community and high school roadshows where several service providers link underserved youth to needed services that build empowerment and resiliency.
Peer 2 Peer Training Sessions:
Youth-serving agencies in southwest Scarborough come together to help youth navigate community services/programs. They also support youth capacity-building through drop-in programming, recreational opportunities and leadership trainings.
Network partners and youth leaders run year-round neighbourhood games in low income neighbourhoods underserved by recreational programs. Community benefits include increased physical literacy and active living among children and youth, mentoring skills development and community inclusion.
Community Garden Programs:
Marginalized community youth, with supports from network partners, develop and maintain community gardens at area sites, expanding food security, well-being and employability skills.
Youth Advisory Group:
Network partners work with community youth leaders to have their voices and youth needs be heard, and work to create initiatives, programming and events to meet those needs.
Network Partners include:
- Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities
- Toronto Public Health
- Action for Neighbourhood Change - EEKP/I
- Toronto District School Board
- Woodgreen Community Services
- Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office
- Centennial College
- HeartBeatz Community Centre
- City of Toronto: Parks, Forestry & Recreation
- City of Toronto: Social Development, Finance and Administration
- Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
- Birchmount Community Action Council
- Toronto Employment Social Services
- Tropicana Community Services
- Toronto Community Housing
- African Canadian Legal Clinic
- Beautiful Minds
Other active network partners and community tables we work with include:
- Eglinton East-Kennedy Park-Birchmount East Local Planning Table (Formerly NAP)
- Mid-Scarborough Engagement Working Group - Resident Animators Project:
Community Partners work with resident animators to increase awareness and engagement among area residents, on the Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy, Poverty Reduction Strategy and the services available to them, in their communities.
- Toronto East Quadrant: Local Immigration Partnership Network