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Allison Briggs (centre) from Covenant House, accepts a $5,000 cheque earned by Princess Margaret Secondary students Muskan Heir and Palak Vashisht through their Youth Philanthropy Initiative project.
An organization that helps homeless and at-risk youth is receiving a $5,000 donation, thanks to a pair of Princess Margaret (PM) Secondary students.
The Surrey secondary school held its first-ever Youth and Philanthropy Initiative event recently. YPI grants thousands of dollars to community charities each year, based on the research and advocacy of students, who present their projects to judges.
Six teams that have been working on their projects since November presented on their various charities at the PM event.
Grade 10 students Muskan Heir and Palak Vashisht took first place, earning a $5,000 grant for their chosen charity, Covenant House Vancouver. Covenant House provides shelter and other supports for street youth who have fled abuse, been forced from their homes or who have aged out of foster care.
Teacher Pam Sandhu said YPI was an invaluable learning tool for this year's students, providing them the opportunity to step out into the community and learn about the different social issues people are facing. By selecting local charities to research, visit and advocate for, they also learned about the valuable work charities are doing to address these issues.
"These students demonstrated how to not only become advocates for social change but also to reflect on their part in making our communities more compassionate and caring places for everyone to live," said Sandhu.
YPI was created by the Toskan Casale Foundation in 2002, as a way to help grow compassionate communities. It is a program where youth, schools, charities, and funders work together to support local charities and vulnerable people through grants and public awareness.