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

Vancouver Island young leaders disburse more than $342,000 to youth-focused programs

Surrey, B.C.: More than $342,000 in grants was disbursed in 2015 to 29 Vancouver Island 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 Vancouver Island.

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 Vancouver Island Young Leaders Community Council, along with councils in Metro Vancouver 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 Vancouver Island 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.

“The Young Leaders Community Council’s ‘for youth, by youth’ approach really sets it apart,” said Linley Faulkner, returning Council member and 2016 Council chair for Vancouver Island.

“It’s so empowering to have the chance to work with other young people to support programs that have such a positive impact on our communities.” 

Kirk Croswell, one of the newcomers to the 2016 Council, said, “I benefited from many youth organizations when I was growing up so being part of the Young Leaders Community Council is a great way to contribute to other youth having the same opportunities I did. There’s so much that can be learned from sharing this experience with like-minded young people and serving organizations that help youth succeed and grow.”

The community grants supported programs like CanAssist’s TeenWork program in Victoria.  CanAssist helps young people with disabilities improve their quality of life, with a focus on promoting independence and inclusion through the use of innovative technologies and programs that fill in the gaps between existing services. Their TeenWork initiative helps youth with disabilities find meaningful, paid work and prepares them for the transition to adulthood.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from Coast Capital’s Young Leaders Community,” said TeenWork Manager Alyssa Hindle. "Thanks to the ongoing vision and generosity of Coast Capital Savings and the Council, TeenWork has been able to grow and help more young people build skills, gain confidence and change the path their lives take once they graduate from high school.”

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


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