Youth Fund

A new fund directed by the Bowen Island Community Foundation Youth Council and dedicated to supporting initiatives for Bowen Youth.


Bowen’s youth have started to chart their own direction, raising funds through a team effort, and determining what community projects might best serve their needs. Through the initiative of the Bowen Island Community Foundation and the generosity of a donor, Bowen’s Youth Council has become a reality. Our youth will learn of the benefits of giving back to the community, and volunteering — it’s a partnership between the Bowen Island Community Foundation and the Bowen Youth Centre, with an ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of life for youth on Bowen.

It’s a novel opportunity a council of Bowen’s youth will decide on their priorities — and then, through generous financial assistance and their own efforts, work to put in place the programs and activities they would like to see. There are mentors available for advice, but it is our youth who will be driving the proverbial bus. The program is overseen by Jennifer Pardee, a board member of our Community Foundation, and the former principal of Bowen Island Community School.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Pardee, info@bowenfoundation.com

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Bowen Island Community Foundation Youth Council

Terms of Reference

A. OBJECTIVES

The Bowen Island Youth Council is a group of volunteer youth who work together to research and assess community needs, work with local non-profit organizations, review and assess funding applications, and make grant money available for youth initiatives (under the auspices of the Foundation ).

B. PURPOSE AND GOALS

The Youth Council aspires to better youth communities through innovative grants and inclusive leadership. Its goals are to:

a. enhance the quality of life for youth
b. empower young people to take action on issues of need
c. support programs which encourage youth growth and dignity, inclusiveness, fairness and equality
d. promote youth voice
e. increase opportunities for youth participation in the community

C. RESPONSIBILITIES

a. Observe, update and advise the Foundation on emerging trends and issues relating to youth on Bowen Island.
b. Review and recommend on grant applications received by the Foundation that are youth-driven, and/or include youth in their design, implementation and decision-making.
c. Evaluation of youth programs.
d. Annually review the functioning of the Youth Council, including identifying potential new committee members.

D. ACCOUNTABILITY

The Youth Council is accountable to the Board of Directors of the Bowen Island Community Foundation through the Youth Advisory Committee. The Committee advises and supports the Board in the area of grant making in order to ensure that:

a. grant making decisions are of the highest standard and quality;
b. diverse and representative community expertise, input and perspective are provided in making these decisions; and
c. grant making processes and decisions are transparent, open, fair and relevant to the youth communities served by the Bowen Community Foundation.

The Committee will be composed of representatives involved with youth and youth education on Bowen Island, and one or two members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, to a maximum of five individuals. The Committee will meet at least three times each calendar year with the membership of the Youth Council.

E. FUNCTIONING OF THE YOUTH COUNCIL

1. Membership

a. A member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors acts as the Youth Council’s liaison to the Board, and sits as an ex officio member of the Youth Council.
b. The Youth Council is comprised of a minimum of five and not more than nine youth between the ages of 14 and 24.
c. The Youth Council is made up of a diverse group of youth whose members bring a wide range of personal, community and school experiences to their understanding of issues facing youth.
d. All appointments are for a term of one year, renewable for an overall maximum of three years.
e. Membership terms will be staggered to ensure there is a continuity of experience, the ability to pass on knowledge, and the mentorship of new members.

2. Recruitment and Selection

a. The Youth Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Youth Council, will have overall responsibility to lead the process of identifying youth to join the committee.
b. The Youth Council, in consultation with the Committee, will make recommendations to the sub-committee regarding prospective members. The recommendations will be based on the current composition of the group to help ensure that the Committee is made up of a diverse group of youth with a variety of community, school and life experiences.
c. Prospective new members will be invited to submit an application, meet with Youth Council members for a brief orientation, and attend the monthly meeting. The names of the new members will be submitted to the Committee, and then to the Foundation Board for approval.
d. The Youth Council will have an on-going process to identify the qualities that will help in the recruitment of new members. Some of these qualities and guidelines include:

(i) Dependability: the effectiveness of the Youth Council is based solely on its members

(ii) Dedication: of each member is vital to the sustainability and effectiveness of the Youth Council

(iii) Openness: members are encouraged and should not be afraid to contribute to the discussions and debates

(iv) Members who are critical thinkers and look at alternative solutions to problems when participating in grant-making decisions

(v) Punctuality: being aware of and respecting the time of fellow members

(vi) Members who are aware of the issues facing his or her community and/or a willingness to learn about issues beyond one’s life experience

3. Conflict of Interest

a. Youth Council members will disclose, as soon as possible, any potential for conflict(s) of interest, including:

(i) membership in any organization or group applying for a grant or

(ii) the presence of any friends or family within an applicant organization

b. In the event of a conflict of interest, the YC member will not participate in any assessment interviews and voting, and will only take part or be present during the consideration of the application if requested by the Chair.

4. Orientation

All new Youth Council members will receive a general orientation each September from the membership of both the Youth Council and the Committee. This meeting will have the additional goal of providing all Youth Council members, new and current, with a team-building and skills-building session.

5. Meetings

a. Frequency and Duration
The Youth Council will meet once a month between September and June, with the exception of December. Each meeting will run from one to three hours and possibly longer when the Council is making decisions on grant applications.

Meetings may be more frequent during the months leading up to these grants meeting(s), in order to allow time for applicant interviews and application assessment.
Additional interim meetings may also provide Youth Council members with opportunities to organize events and activities and conduct site visits.

The February meeting will be a joint meeting with the Board of the Foundation. This annual meeting will allow the Youth Council and the Foundation to review the Youth Council’s goals and objectives.

b. Meeting Chair and Recorder
Members will share in the responsibility, through rotation, of chairing and recording the minutes at each meeting. The Chair and Recorder for the next meeting will be decided at the end of each meeting.
c. Agenda
Meeting agendas are prepared by the Youth Council, and approved by the Foundation Board..
d. Attendance
Members are expected to attend the monthly meetings, which will typically be held the third Monday of every month. It is the responsibility of the YC member to notify fellow members and the Committee liaison if unable to attend a meeting. The dates of the grant-decision meetings will be given to members well in advance in order for members to ensure their attendance and availability. A director, a nominee of the Foundation Board, will be present at each meeting.
The Foundation understands there are sometimes circumstances that prevent members from attending monthly meetings. With that in mind, if a Youth Council member is unable to attend three monthly meetings in a year (September – June), the Board will initiate a conversation to discuss the member’s availability and explore options to support their ongoing participation.
e. Decision-Making
The Youth Council encourages the use of consensus building as a means of decision making, where members can come to an agreement. Through consensus, the ideas and voice of all participants are gathered to achieve and work towards a common decision. In the absence of the ability to reach a consensus, Youth Council members will be asked to vote with a majority rule.
f. Quorum
Where necessary, the Youth Council members who are in attendance personally or by telephone conference will vote on decisions.

6. Communications

a. Minutes
Minutes of the monthly meetings are the shared responsibility of Youth Council members, and provide important documentation of discussions and decisions.
The Youth Council will submit minutes of the its grant decision meetings to the Foundation Board for final approval. A copy of the approved minutes will be signed by the Youth Council member who chaired the meeting.
b. Reports to the Board for Information and/or Recommendation
The Youth Council, with support from the Board Liaison, is responsible for submitting the following items to the Foundation Board for information and/or approval:

(i) The list of grants reviewed including the final decisions and amounts recommended
(ii) An annual review of the Committee’s effectiveness and recommendations on priorities and goals for the incoming year
(iii) The minutes of the monthly meetings (as requested)