Youth Get It with Coast Capital Savings’ unique community grant program

Metro Vancouver young leaders disburse more than $445,000 to youth-focused programs

Surrey, B.C.: More than $445,000 in grants was disbursed in 2015 to 32 Metro Vancouver organizations that offer programs that build a richer future for youth. The granting announcement was made today by Coast Capital Savings’ Young Leaders Community Council for Metro Vancouver.

The Young Leaders Community Councils reflect the credit union’s Youth Get It approach to upholding its community promise to financially empower youth, help them succeed at school and build healthy minds. Members of Coast Capital’s three regional Young Leaders Community Councils are responsible for reviewing grant applications and deciding how to best allocate the credit union’s community investment funding. 

In 2015, the Metro Vancouver Young Leaders Community Council, along with councils on Vancouver Island and in the Fraser Valley, allocated $1.2 million through 87 grants to support programs that align with Coast Capital’s community promise. View a complete list of Metro Vancouver grant recipients.

“Our Young Leaders Community Council is one of Coast Capital Savings’ signature community leadership initiatives and a cornerstone of our innovative Youth Get It program,” said Wendy Lachance, Director, Community Leadership at Coast Capital Savings.

“The Youth Get It program is multi-facetted,” Lachance explained. “Not only do the young people who benefit from the programs Coast Capital funds ‘get it’, but the council members also ‘get it’ because they know firsthand the challenges youth face today and they are as passionate as we are about building a richer future for youth. They also ‘get it’ because they gain valuable leadership experience through their work.”

The councils are made up of four emerging young leaders under the age of 30 from the community and four employees from the credit union. Council members are elected for a one-year term.

“Serving on the Young Leaders Community Council is an opportunity to be a part of the inspiring work local non-profits are doing to support young people,” said Angela Katsamakis, returning Council member and 2016 Council chair for Metro Vancouver. “Participating on the council is also a fantastic way to learn from other youth leaders and get involved with Coast Capital, an organization that is truly a leader in community investment.”

Parmvir Sandhu, one of the newcomers to the 2016 Young Leaders Community Council, said, “Joining the Council is a unique opportunity to gain community leadership experience that’s hard to come by as a young person. I’m looking forward to helping other youth achieve their goals in the hopes that one day they might do the same for others.”

The community grants supported programs like the Urban Native Youth Association’s Mentorship Program, which connects inner-city Aboriginal youth between the ages of 12 and 18 with volunteer adult mentors who act as role models, advocates and friends.

"With the support of Coast Capital Savings’ Young Leaders Community Council and our amazing volunteer mentors, Urban Native Youth Association’s Mentorship Program provides youth with the opportunity to realize their innate strengths and work towards future goals,” said Catherine Rana, Program Manager. “We sincerely appreciate the role the Young Leaders Council plays in helping ensure urban Aboriginal youth receive safe and culturally appropriate support in our community." 

About Coast Capital Savings

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership. A recipient of the 2015 “Outstanding Corporation” Giving Hearts Award, the credit union invested $5 million­­­­­­­­ into local communities in 2015, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club, and an Imagine Canada Caring Company. It has 50 branches serving its 522,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit


For more information, please contact:

April van Ert
Communications Advisor
Coast Capital Savings