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Winkler’s Youth Vital Conversation

March 12, 2020

The Winkler Community Foundation hosted Vital Conversation: Engaging Youth on Thursday February 20, 2020. We had 30 people attend; 18 individuals between the ages of 15-29 and 12 Community Leaders. The goal was to ring youth and community leaders together; to build new partnerships and develop tangible actions that participants can take away to make Winkler an attractive place for young people to get involved and feel they belong. The outcomes will also be used to guide future granting priorities for the Winkler Community Foundation.


“We are here for one reason and that is to make change happen.” – Caleb Vallelly, Local High School student

“I felt it was a very important conversation because it gave a lot of new ideas and perspectives, and the event gave me a better sense of community in the sense that it was heart warming to see how many people turned up and wanted to discuss how we can better this community, not only for youth but for the generations to follow.” – Samantha Toews, Genesis House Staff

The main themes that arose around the table discussion included:

  1. Need for some form of public transportation
  2. Need for financial literacy & education around housing
  3. Need to growing the awareness of mental health and education on local resources available.
  4. Affordable Post-secondary options


Some of the common Actionable outcomes included:

1. Public Transportation

2.Financial Literacy and Education

3. Mental Health Awareness and Education

4. Post-Secondary Affordability & Local Options

We are very excited about the response of the Vital Conversation.

Vital conversation really engaged young people and their voices are being heard. At the same time youth are building skills and networks. We do better when we hear from a diverse group of people. We are happy to be a part of the conversation.” Miranda Rowson, RBC Branch Manager

We want to Thanks Community Foundations of Canada and RBC for thisunique opportunity to engage youth in looking to the future of our community and building future leaders.

The Vital Conversation aligns with WCF’s work by “building community” for an important sector of our community. Our youth are our future but they often lack the platform to have their voice heard. By seeking their feedback through a Vital Conversation, we have a better understanding of what our community should look like to thrive not only today, but well into the future. Rob Unruh, WCF Vice-President.

We encourage the dialogue to continue; young leaders work together, partner with community leaders and be an advocate to make change happen in our community. We look forward to seeing how today’s conversation will impact our community as power is given to young leaders making positive social or environmental change in our community.



WES YIP give back

Winkler Elementary School ran Youth in Philanthropy as an Exploratory program during the 2020-21 school year. They had a group of grade 8 students participate. As a part of the program, the students ran a Valentine’s Day themed fundraiser by selling boxes of smarties. They felt the smarties could share some “joy” during a COVID Valentine’s. The girls designed to and from tags for the students to send the smarties to friends aor siblings in the school. The money raised during the YIP exploratory program was matched by the Winkler Community Foundation. Thanks to the student’s efforts and the Foundation’s match, a grant of $669 was awarded to Gateway Resources. This grant has been designated for Gateway’s Life Skills Program to add tactile and sensory box resources. “We decided to raise money for the Gateway Life Skills Program because we believe everyone should have an equal opportunity to contribute to the community and do what they love!” – Karli, BYNN and Bria grade 8 YIP students from WES.   The Winkler Community Foundation loves seeing students engage in philanthropic activities. We were happy to see WES find a creative way to still teach young students about philanthropy and positively impact […]


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