Fraser Valley youth to benefit from $400,000 in grant investments

Coast Capital Savings’ unique Young Leaders Community Council announces 2014 grant recipients

Surrey Youth Centre

"Robin Chakrabarti, Coast Capital Savings Board Member (left), Michelle Shaw, Associate Director of Youth Services with the Surrey Youth Resource Centres (middle), and Zenaida Telfair, member of the Fraser Valley Young Leaders Community Council (right), have fun shaking hands at the end of a successful day together."

Surrey, B.C. – December 12, 2014 – Coast Capital Savings’ Fraser Valley Young Leaders Community Council (YLCC) has awarded over $440,000 in grants to 33 Fraser Valley youth-focused not-for-profit organizations. These community-oriented investments support programs that help more than 100,000 youth in the region and across the province.

Among this year’s recipients is the Pacific Community Resource Society, who received funding in support of their Surrey Youth Resource Centres. The centres provide a broad range of programming to at-risk youth and their families through alternative education programs, youth housing programs, one-to-one and group support programs, youth justice services, youth employment and a youth-friendly drop-in space.

“This investment will allow us to make a significant impact. Specifically, with these funds we will be able to provide a wider variety of groups for youth and families to access.  Staff have already reached out to young people and plans are already under way for a drama group, enhanced parents group and increased youth engagement through our Youth Leadership Advisory Board," says Michelle Shaw, Associate Director of Youth Services with the Surrey Youth Resource Centres. “Pacific Community Resources is grateful to have our work recognized and be selected by Coast Capital’s Young Leaders Community Council to receive this grant.”

The grants, up to $30,000 each, are awarded through a unique “for youth, by youth” process led by the Fraser Valley YLCC, one of three regional Coast Capital youth councils. The councils were created as part of Coast Capital’s community promise to build a richer future for youth.
Each YLCC is made up of eight young volunteer leaders from the community and Coast Capital savings, all 30 years old or younger. The teams are mentored throughout their duration on the councils, enabling them to develop critical leadership skills.
In turn, they help to manage the community giving program, and base granting decisions on specific criteria aligned with Coast’s four areas of youth focus: education, family and social connections, financial well-being, and health.

Zenaida Telfair, one of the members of the Fraser Valley YLCC, says that each year the funding decisions prove challenging. “We were overwhelmed with both the number of applications we received and the amazing community work that is being done in the Fraser Valley,” says Telfair.
“While each organization that applied is doing great things, the Fraser Valley YLCC believes the selected 2014 recipients are going above and beyond in supporting our community’s youth.”

The local community investment program and the YLCCs were developed with the support and approval of the Coast Capital Board of Directors, who are passionate advocates for the credit union’s youth-focused philosophy.

“Coast Capital’s Young Leaders Community Councils are truly instrumental in helping the credit union realize its community promise of helping build a richer future for youth,” says Coast Capital Board Member Robin Chakrabarti. “We are looking forward to seeing the positive impacts our 2014 recipients will have on our community as a result of these community investments. These organizations are all great examples of community contributors that align with our “for youth, by youth” commitment, and we are delighted to support them.”

In 2014, Coast Capital awarded $1.5 million through over 120 grants – an investment that will help over 168,000 local youth.  Of the $1.5 million, Young Leader Community Councils directed: $370,000 to support programs that enhance financial well-being; $309,000 to programs that support youth with their education, $616,000 to programs that help build life and social skills and reduce bullying, and $206,000 to programs that support youth in improving their mental health.

The Fraser Valley Young Leaders Community Council is one of three regional YLCCs; there are also councils in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. Each council is made up of four young leaders from the community and four young leaders from Coast Capital Savings, all 30 years old or younger.  In addition to helping to determine the funding priorities of Coast Capital’s $1.5 million community granting program, the councils give young people the opportunity to hone their leadership skills and gain valuable community volunteer experience.

Coast Capital Savings annually invests seven per cent of pre-tax profits in charitable programs and local initiatives to help strengthen the communities that it serves. This amounted to $5.7 million in 2014, for a total of nearly $56 million since 2000.

About Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s second largest credit union, owned by its 512,000 members. It has 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia, and has exciting plans to grow. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. Coast Capital offers one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and was named one of 2014’s BC Top Employers. It is a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club and an Imagine Canada Caring Company. To learn more: www.coastcapitalsavings.com.

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For more information, please contact: 
Erin McKinley                           
Senior Media Relations Advisor
604.517.7657
erin.mckinley@coastcapitalsavings.com