Youth to Youth
Right To Play's Youth To Youth (Y2Y) program uses the power of play to support young people living in Toronto to develop the skills and confidence needed to rise above adversity and become leaders in their own communities. Since 2010, Y2Y has partnered with local schools, community centres, and youth services to provide learning opportunities for youth to realize their potential, use their voice, and make their communities more inclusive and vibrant.
"A shift has happened in many schools because youth are starting to see each other as valuable, insightful leaders. Y2Y tailors the program according to the needs of the school and the community."
Programs and services that are key to young people’s success are severely lacking in many communities across the city of Toronto. Y2Y amplifies this city’s greatest asset, its youth, to create a youth-led approach to filling this gap in programs and services, and in the process provide youth with opportunities to build skills and confidence and become the leaders of today.
While Toronto is one of the most prosperous cities worldwide, its wealth is shared in an increasingly unequal way:
- The child poverty rate ranges from 5% in some neighbourhoods to over 50% in others, and many reports find that both the income gap and the opportunity gap are growing
- For children in low-income areas of Toronto access to extended learning programs, recreation opportunities or extra-curricular activities are out of reach because of their high cost
- The Toronto District School Board Parent Census of 2012 found that low-income families are half as likely to be involved in regular extracurricular activities (arts, sports/recreation, and other) as students from more affluent backgrounds
In 2017, the Y2Y program included:
- 52 school and community partners
- 750 trained Youth Leaders
- 2,500 children participating in weekly activities
- 45% of youth leaders report feeling more confident about themselves
- 85% of youth leaders feel proud of their role as a youth leader
- 73% of youth leaders report feeling more confident that can succeed in and out of school since starting the program
- 53% of youth leaders report feeling more able to make a positive change in their school/community since starting the program
- 94% of program mentors report that youth work better on a team
- 35% of youth leaders report having a better idea of the career path they want to pursue
- 100% of program mentors report that youth are more inclusive when running games
- 83% of youth leaders built skills that will help them plan and lead events in their school.community