2022 Scholarship Fund for YouthWrite

The Cause

YouthWrite Society Canada respectfully requests $15,000 for the 2022 Scholarship Fund to support kids who identify as at-risk, low income, new Canadian, BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+ or youth with mental and physical health challenges to attend YouthWrite, camps for kids who love to write…just about anything!

YouthWrite® has provided a safe refuge for artistic kids for the last 25 years. During the pandemic, we noticed how tough the unknown has been for everyone; mental health statistics for youth across the country this past year are staggering (#codepink). Over the years, we’ve seen how YouthWrite’s focus on mental health and resiliency can truly save young lives, and we hope to reach more young people as we continue through these difficult times.

YouthWrite has a history of allyship with the LGBTQ2S+ community and provides safe and supportive outlets for youth of any background; we form a strong community and focus on the many ways young people learn to understand themselves, each other, and their world. At our camps, young creators can take artistic risks while working with a team of instructors and supervisors and explore new pursuits such as: yoga and writing, drumming and words, songwriting, illustrating, cartooning, scriptwriting, improvisation and writing, body percussion and words, and so much more!

We want to bring these opportunities to more kids across Alberta. We hold our camps for youth ages 8-19 in Bragg Creek (just outside Calgary), Edmonton, and online. While we do offer some scholarships, we need to reach more young people especially during and after this pandemic. Because more families are struggling financially, and more of Alberta’s youth need mental health support and creative community, we want to ensure youth-in-need can attend YouthWrite and to make sure kids who really need these camps become aware of them.

A small percentage of the funding would help us reach out and build relationships with other organizations that are in contact with underserved or at-risk youth: Boys and Girls Club, Edmonton’s Intercultural Centre, Calgary Multicultural Centre, YMCA, Pride centres, fostering associations, and more. The majority of funds would provide scholarships for YouthWrite Summer camps. With 1.5 years of this pandemic under our belts, we are now experts at adapting these to whatever regulations may be in place when the camps occur and continuing the community and the wordplayfulness in whatever format we may use.

Who Will it Benefit?

Through these scholarships, 20 people ages 8-19 in Alberta and NWT will be able to attend a great camp that fosters creativity, connectivity, and community. While attendees will be the primary beneficiaries, the benefits of more campers coming to YouthWrite are felt throughout this province and beyond.

Many YouthWriters return annually to camp throughout their elementary, junior, and high school years. They stay in touch with each other and us via our social media channels and our website as they venture into post-secondary studies and careers. From our 25-year history of running camps, many alumni have chosen to enter related fields such as screen/TV writing, animation, graphics and design, playwriting, journalism, filmmaking, film reviewing, magazine editing, and English graduate studies. A good number have gone on to publish work and become professional editors. Others have chosen fields such as paleontology, acting, medicine, law, teaching, arts administration, business, police administration, library sciences, etc., where the skills honed at YouthWrite are put to good use.

Other artists and skilled workers:
Our instructors, all professional educators and artists, gain more opportunities for employment and a more diverse audience on which to pass their experience and knowledge. Supporting the arts and artists has always been paramount to YouthWrite and we our diverse team of instructors shows the incredible quality of Alberta’s arts force. As well, with more kids at camp, the local cooks, printers, designers, and additional staff we employ see more regular work throughout the season.