From the award’s Facebook page:
“Created in 2013 by Steve Synyshyn, Ben Wickstrom, Sachin Kumar and Mackenzie Campbell, the Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award was developed to help marginalized youth in our province attend Youth Parliament of Manitoba (YPM). The four of us learned a lot about the government and political process, leadership and communication skills and most importantly that we all have a voice if we choose to use it.
We often hear about how youth (and in particular youth from historically under-represented communities) are not engaged in the electoral process. What better way to encourage involvement than to spend a week debating in the Manitoba legislature with their peers on the topics that are most relevant to them?
Our goal is to work with organizations in Manitoba who already work with marginalized youth. We believe these organizations already have the resources to identify youth who would benefit the most from the YPM experience. As such, we have developed a partnership with Youth Agencies Alliance (YAA) to facilitate the Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award. YAA is comprised of 18 member agencies. These agencies are community-based youth serving agencies that offer year-round programming at no cost. In the past, agencies that have sent youth to YPM through the Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award are Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad and Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc. (IRCOM).
The scholarship provides the youth with their membership fee, a clothing allowance, a meal allowance for meals not provided by YPM, money for some YPM swag and transportation costs. This allows the youth to have the full YPM experience at no cost but their time.
To date, the Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award has sent 9 youth to YPM.
To donate, please visit: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KM3TLZHV84Z2N
We are working with YAA to see if tax receipts can be utilized in future years, please bear with us as we continue to build this great program.”