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Youth Opportunities Unlimited Annual Report 2011-2012

Dedicated to unlocking the

potential of youth Since 1982

The Cornerstone, 332 Richmond Street Home to alternative educational/coop programming, counselling, health supports, referrals, skills training, transitional housing, Youth Action Centre, YOU Made It CafĂŠ and Community Meeting Room @YOU_london

Our Mission Youth Opportunities Unlimited is dedicated to unlocking the potential of youth by providing client centred services emphasizing skills improvement leading to increased employability and empowerment, offering a referral service to agencies serving youth, and developing, participating in and supporting community alliances to maximize opportunities for youth.

Our Vision Youth Opportunities Unlimited is a caring and active place where all youth are engaged in learning and creating opportunities to build their future.

Our Values Client Centred We are respectful in all of our client interactions; flexible and inclusive in providing services that meet clients’ needs. Community Focused We are locally driven and gather input from many community sectors on an ongoing basis. Fun We create and support environments that are enjoyable, positive and respectful. Integrity We are honest, responsive, clear, and ethical in all of our communications and interactions. Quality Driven We set high standards for success and work hard to surpass them.


2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Table of Contents President’s Report............................................. 4

Since 1982 Youth Opportunities Unlimited has

Board of Directors............................................. 5

helped lead youth in London and Middlesex

Executive Director’s Report............................... 6 Leadership Team............................................... 7 YOU Team......................................................... 8 The Cornerstone................................................ 9 Transition Services.......................................... 10 Career Services............................................... 11 Enterprise Services......................................... 12 Next Wave Youth Centre................................. 13 Youth Star Award............................................. 14

County toward success. We believe that investing in youth and strong communities go hand-in-hand. We know that many youth need guidance and support to reach their true potential. We work with our business, community and government partners to address youth’s most pressing needs. Through Transition, Career and Enterprise Services we provide youth with the training,

Polaris Award.................................................. 15

skills development, supports and referrals

Steve Cordes Community Star Award................................... 16

they need to develop their potential and lead positive lives.

Nick DiSanto Youth Entrepreneurial Award..................................... 17 6th annual Breakfast for YOU Empowering YOUth 5th annual Reach the Beach Races................. 18 Revenues and Expenditures .......................... 19

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


President’s Report For 30 years Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) has remained true to its Mission: to unlock the potential of youth. Since 1982 the organization has helped local youth develop the skills they need to lead positive lives. In these 30 years YOU has initiated numerous innovative projects, partnerships and collaborations to broaden supports and services for youth and ensure we reach youth where they’re at. It has been and continues to be a progressive and ever evolving journey. It is with the generous support of our many partners, funders and donors that we can continue to do the good work. Today the organization provides programs and services to more than 3,600 local youth a year. The grand opening of The Cornerstone in November 2011 and the opening of the YOU Made it Café in January 2012 took the organization to a new level of youth service, contribution, and impact to our community. In many ways The Cornerstone can be seen as a symbol of the organization. Within this fully renovated three-storey heritage building in the heart of downtown, facets of our three service areas (Transition, Career and Enterprise) seamlessly connect so as to offer youth the on-site services and supports they need, delivered by caring staff and caring community partners. Our annual fundraiser, Breakfast for YOU Empowering YOUth, continues to touch the hearts and minds of our many guests. At this year’s event there was again record attendance as two youth speakers shared their personal journeys with a most engaged audience. YOU continues to focus on social enterprise as a meaningful and productive way to engage youth while providing them with necessary training, life skills and employment. YOU continues to be a Canadian leader in social enterprise. The organization has received international recognition for the effective outcomes from this model which is the basis for the YOU Made It brand. The Board of Directors welcomes newest member Anthony Gene and expresses sincere thanks to departing members Jim Graham and Grant Glady. On behalf of the Board thank you to all YOU friends for your ongoing support. It is a pleasure to serve the organization and the community.

Brian Hughes Board President

Photographed by the YOU Made It Café 4

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


Board of Directors

Front row. Left to right. Anthony Gene, Kim Fraser, Brian Hughes Back row. Left to right. Dan Grantham, Phil Masschelein, Grant Glady, Michael Lewis, Michael Mitchell. Cheryl Miller, Diana Ferrera. Lane Trotter, Walt LeGrow, Steve Cordes Photographed on the roof of The Cornerstone

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


Executive Director’s Report As 2012 marks YOU’s 30th anniversary it is a time to reflect and look ahead. YOU was created in 1982 to respond to the needs of youth in helping them find and maintain employment. The agency’s initial programs were limited to employment counselling, job search workshops and job placement. While those programs were successful in achieving their goals, the issues affecting youth employment were complex and required a dynamic program mix. By 1986, a housing loan fund, educational programs and a social enterprise were added. In the early 1990s YOU worked with partner organizations and the City of London to create services designed to address the growing “street youth” population. This lead to the formation of the Youth Action Centre in 1992. Milestone programs such as Reuse It Recycling (1996), Market Quality Preserves (2004), and the Next Wave Youth Centre (2007) followed. Our most recent development, The Cornerstone, officially opened in November 2011. Earlier this year, YOU was awarded the national Eva’s Initiatives Award for Ending Youth Homelessness in recognition of our success in creating innovative and comprehensive programs addressing youth homelessness. Throughout the past 30 years two elements have strengthened YOU’s development. First, is the staff’s commitment to the success of young people seeking YOU’s support. Each member of the staff team brings a creative and caring approach to helping young people discover their strengths, develop their skills and build plans towards their futures. Second is community. Community has been at the heart of YOU since its inception. A coalition of local partners in education, community service and local business has today grown to more than 20 partnerships, planning groups and networks creating collective impacts that no one could achieve individually. The programs and services at YOU have evolved into a unique and integrated service mix that supports more than 3,600 youth each year. The community support of Breakfast for YOU, and other special events including The Cornerstone opening, Reach the Beach Races and our Annual Celebrations speak to the heartfelt support for the agency and its youth participants. There are exciting plans in the year ahead. Projects to unfold include new dual credit programs in partnership with Fanshawe College and the Thames Valley District School Board, a rooftop gardening project, continued development of the YOU Made It Café and its catering offerings and growth of sustainable earned revenues through our Enterprise Services. In each case the goal is to enhance employment and transitional supports for youth. Together, YOU staff, volunteers, partners, funders and donors have supported life-changing development of many youth and built a stronger community. On behalf of the youth we serve, thank you!

Respectfully submitted, Steve Cordes, Executive Director 6

Photographed at the Community Meeting Room 2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Leadership Team

Left to Right Christine Dirks, Director, Marketing & Communications Steve Cordes, Executive Director Andrea Decoste, Director, Finance & Administration

Photographed at the YOU Made It CafĂŠ

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


YOU Team

The diverse YOU Team includes Job Developers, Workshop Facilitators, Youth Outreach Workers, Employment Counsellors, industry experts, Administrative, Management and Job Creation Partnership personnel, and youth who work within Enterprise Services. The YOU team brings varied academic expertise and professional experience to their work. These include social service education, recreation and leisure diplomas, career practitioner diplomas, graduate degrees and decades of front-line experience. YOU recruits individuals who have the skills and attributes to help youth build positive lives and build community connections. Photographed on the roof of The Cornerstone


2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

The Cornerstone 332 Richmond Street

In many ways The Cornerstone belongs to the community. The idea for a building in the downtown which would be home to alternative educational programming, transitional housing, counseling, health supports, referrals, drop-in centre, social enterprise café and community meeting room grew through discussions with our many partners. We shared the belief that to truly give youth at risk a hand up, to help youth unlock their potential and live positive lives called on the talents of many. It meant we would work together. It was an inspiring goal. The inspiration was the youth. On November 25, 2011 when The Cornerstone officially opened it was a vivid reminder that by working together we change lives. @YMI_Cafe We thank all who have made the dream of The Cornerstone a reality. Andersen Corporate Foundation

King’s University College

St. Patrick’s Parish

Brescia University College

Libro Financial Group

TD Canada Trust

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

London and Area Food Bank London Housing Registry

Thames Valley District School Board

City of London

London InterCommunity Health Centre

The Forever Legacy Foundation

Cohen Highley Lawyers

London Life

Downtown London

London Public Library

The Home Depot Canada Foundation

Fanshawe College

Middlesex-London Health Unit

Farhi Holdings Corporation

Mission Services of London

Good Foundation Inc.

Regional HIV / AIDS Connection

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Richard Ivey School of Business

Intact Insurance JPW Systems Inc. Keeping Kids Warm

Schneider Electric Schulich Medicine & Dentistry Sifton Family Foundation 2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

The May Court Club of London The Ontario Trillium Foundation Western University United Way of London & Middlesex Walter J. Blackburn Foundation Western Fair District Westminster College


Transition Services Dynamic enhancements to programming and intentional youth engagement strategies have defined the work of the Transition Services team this past year. The opening of The Cornerstone in November 2011 with 28 transitional housing units made a significant impact on our ability to provide youth with a safe environment in which to live while making positive changes in their lives and gaining sustainable independence. The Youth Action Centre (YAC), our multi-service drop-in centre, welcomed more than 12,000 youth visits and continues to be the entry way into housing supports and life skills programming at YOU. Youth engagement in the YAC goes beyond basic needs provisions to include creative and fun art programming, in-house peer support sessions, employment supports, life skills training and community referrals. Collaboration with more than 22 community partners is essential in our ability to serve youth. These partnerships - some long-standing, some new - include the Regional HIV / AIDS Connection, Middlesex-London Health Unit, London InterCommunity Health Centre, Western University, The Life Resource Centre, TD Canada Trust, Lawson Research Group, London Resource Centre, Salvation Army - Centre of Hope, London Housing Registry and many volunteer groups. For 16 years the Youth Insight team has educated our community about youth issues and youth resiliency. This past year, five youth delivered 53 presentations sharing their dynamic stories with schools, businesses, church groups and organizations. A new youth-led mentorship and education initiative, The YOUth 2 Youth Project, was launched to address the needs of newcomer/ immigrant youth. More than 400 youth participated in this project gaining connections to community services. The Youth Matters Study, initiated in 2009, in partnership with Lawson Research Group and the City of London, continues to address youth issues of mental health, homelessness, addiction and poverty in identified core areas of London, while also providing housing and treatment referral supports yearly to approximately 185 youth. An Ontario Works (OW) Trustee satellite office for youth under 18 on social assistance was integrated into the YAC. The collaboration assists youth living independently of their parental home. It encourages open communication between service providers and allows youth to attend OW appointments in our youth-friendly environment, while taking advantage of the many YOU supports. @YOUyac “YOU has helped me put my life back together. Before things seemed pretty impossible. Now I can go back to school and dream about my future again.� Valerie 10

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Career Services Career Services identifies and recognizes youth’s individual talents, skills and assets, encourages personal goals, strengthens confidence, provides opportunities for learning and celebrates success. Youth who engage with the Career Services team further their education, learn new skills and gain valuable employment experience. More than 2,500 youth were provided with one-onone assistance at the ERC (Employment Resource Centre) gaining current information on local training and employment opportunities, community service supports, occupational and training requirements and resources to support career and employment decisions. Sixty-two youth successfully earned their Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate through the GED (General Educational Development) program. Through a community partnership with Frontier College, nine additional tutors provided assistance in the GED lab. Renovations to the ERC resulted in a more inviting, interactive access to services with more efficient use of the space and increased natural light. Updated computers and software are used by more than 50 visitors daily. Through the Service Canada Individual Skills Enhancement and GLOBE’s 2011 REDY programs, YOU provided recruitment, screening and job placements for 26 youth. Individual Skills Enhancement brought opportunities to youth for training in higher demand occupations that support them in finding long term labour market success. Successful training completion included Construction Technologies, Security Guard Diploma, Property Maintenance and Forklift Training. REDY is a hands-on program that provides training by green industry experts to perform maintenance jobs such as weatherization, plumbing and electrical work. The Summer Jobs for Youth (SJFY) program engaged community partners to assist youth most in need. Partners included Thames Valley District School Board, École Secondaire Monseigneur-Bruyère, St. Leonard’s Society, Oneida First Nations, Chippewa First Nations and London InterCommunity Health Centre. SJFY and the Summer Jobs Service programs placed more than 850 youth. In addition to the summer programs, 73 additional youth secured job placements.

“Everyone at YOU made a huge difference in my life and helped me learn that even in the hardest of times there is always something to look forward to!” Meagan 2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


Enterprise Services It has been an active year for the Social Enterprise program with the addition of our newest social enterprise, The YOU Made It Café. Although Enterprise Services has operated a kitchen food production facility since 2004, the café introduces new and exciting possibilities for youth participating in this program. The full dine-in/take-out breakfast and lunch menus, the increased opportunities for YOU to host events at the café and the increased catering services together offer youth new learning opportunities. Youth and staff moved into the YOU Made It Café in November 2011 where production of Market Quality Preserves resumed in the café’s new commercial kitchen. Furnishings and a point-of-sale system followed in December with the café opening January 17, 2012. The youth employed at the café now experience a much wider range of food production and service experiences and consistently report how they love working in this new commercial and retail environment. The youth are supervised by a Red Seal Certified Executive Chef plus two full-time and two part-time staff. Recycling services and the Woodshop share a 11,000 square foot facility at 3334 White Oak Road. The shared location has worked well in cross-training the youth in both service areas while enabling supervisory duties to be shared by two full-time staff members for the eight youth positions. The YOU Made It retail sales team exhibited at events throughout London selling gift baskets, Market Quality Preserves and wood products. Preserves are also distributed through several local businesses such as Remark Fresh Markets, Scotian Isle Bakery and the Village Harvest Bakery. Highlights of program outcomes • 69 youth received relevant job training, skills development and valuable work experience • 91 percent of participants completed the program • 68 percent of participants either gained employment or returned to school This year 49 percent of youth in the program sought and secured employment opportunities exceeding the contract requirement of 35 percent.

“Our customers enjoy the fresh unique flavors of these fresh, top quality products (MQP) made by local youth.” John Harding, General Manager, Remark Fresh Markets 12

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Next Wave Youth Centre The Next Wave Youth Centre in Strathroy is a popular destination for youth in the community and beyond. Programs and services extend to youth in Parkhill, Glencoe and to local area First Nations youth. Next Wave offers youth skills training, employment and basic needs as well as referrals to and partnerships with community agencies and government services. Next Wave is truly a one-stop shop for area youth. In the past year, youth paid more than 5,000 visits to the centre. As a direct result of the Break into Business program (BIB), 20 youth increased job skills, confidence and experience, learned about self-employment, received certification in Safe Food Handling and gained new friends. Program workshops delivered at the Next Wave Café were provided in partnership with Community Futures Development Corporation of Middlesex County. During and after the program, there was a substantial increase in catering orders to the café from local businesses. In October, Next Wave hosted the Middlesex Opportunity Career Fair at the Caradoc Community Centre in Mount Brydges. Thirty fair exhibitors and two guest speakers spoke to 400 Middlesex County secondary school students from Strathroy, Parkhill, Glencoe and Arva about the county’s in-demand trades. Next Wave staff and the centre’s Youth Council organized activities enjoyed by all including Movie Night, Iron Chef, Minute to Win It, Hawaiian Luau, Foosball Tournaments, Next Wave’s Got Talent, Coffee House, Teen Cuisine, Clean up the Town and Video Game Challenge. For the second consecutive year Next Wave hosted Roger’s Television as the station filmed the annual Santa Claus Parade outside the Next Wave location. The Women’s Rural Resource Centre and Middlesex-London Health Unit provide invaluable support to youth who visit Next Wave. Workshops, activities and one-on-one care help guide youth in healthy living and successful decision making. Several community partners are located at the centre including Ontario Works and Vanier Children’s Services. As well, the Strathroy Chamber of Commerce and the Strathroy & Area Seniors’ Centre routinely involve youth in events and community service opportunities. @nxt_wave “YOU has offered us a support system in all aspects of youth training, recruiting, mentoring, educating and resources. What a gift!” Sharon Landry, Co Owner Village Harvest Bakery 2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


Youth Star Award The Youth Star Award recognizes youth in London and Middlesex who have been recipients of YOU services and have overcome significant barriers and demonstrated perseverance, commitment and responsibility.

Valerie Christie Valerie came to YOU in

Rebecca Dean Rebecca has made major strides

Alex Hiyabu As a newcomer to London, with no

Llewellyn James Llewellyn struggled with literacy while working in YOU Made It Recycling. After many hours of having his G1 driver’s license testing read to him, Llewellyn obtained his G1 and his G2, gaining employment options. Llewellyn has maintained employment and is making daily personal progress.

Alex Rayson-Lockhart Before working at the YOU Made It Recycling and Woodshop facility, Alex was struggling to maintain a job. He had not completed high school, was often hungry and lacked family supports. Through the continued support Alex received from YOU before, during and after his contract with Enterprise Services, Alex has obtained his General Educational Development certificate, is maintaining employment and is working towards his Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Blake Milmine Prior to working with the YOU Made It Café team, Blake had many significant personal challenges in living a stable life. While at the café, Blake demonstrated great determination and dedication to learn his role. Blake displayed great motivation to learn and to do the job right. He was the first person to peer-train incoming youth in the newly opened café. Blake successfully completed his program with YOU.

Cheryl Sturgeon Through hard work and

Devon Trowell When Devon first attended

need of housing, stability and support. She began living at The Cornerstone and became an active participant in YOU programming and events, often sharing her story with community partners. While living at The Cornerstone, Valerie resumed her education and took initiative to develop healthy coping habits. Valerie successfully transitioned out of The Cornerstone into independent living and has recently accepted a position with Youth Insight. formal work experience, no family supports and an unstable past, Alex successfully completed the YOU Made It program at the Recycling and Woodshop facility, has secured and maintained subsequent employment and maintains regular contact with YOU counselors.

dedication Cheryl has overcome several barriers to gaining employment. She has increased her confidence during interviews and maintained stable housing. Since coming to YOU Cheryl has completed the YES program, is currently working at the YOU Made It retail kiosk and holds two part-time positions. Cheryl recently began her General Educational Development certificate and looks forward to someday working with youth.


towards building a better life. Years of drug abuse and homelessness are now in the past. She has reconnected with her daughter, has a job and is working to secure a second job, has a stable home life and is completing her Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Rebecca hopes to become a Social Worker or Child and Youth Worker to help others who have been in similar situations.

an appointment with Career Services, she had a Grade 10 education, limited work experience and was struggling with housing issues. Eight years later, through her continuing commitment to making positive changes, Devon has completed her General Educational Development certificate, acted as an advocate for youth and YOU on The Cornerstone’s housing panel, and is now a full-time staff member at YOU as The Cornerstone’s on-site Building Superintendent.

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Polaris Award The Polaris Award recognizes an individual, organization or private company that has been a guiding light to youth through strong leadership and personal commitment in the area of youth services in London and Middlesex County.

Middlesex-London Health Unit Since 1993, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) has maintained a strong partnership with YOU. Throughout these past 19 years this partnership has provided our community’s youth with health promotion activities and prevention-based education so they can be empowered to consider healthy lifestyle choices. As one of our longest standing in-kind service providers, MLHU has successfully delivered many youth-friendly activities to help ensure that our young people have the information and educational experiences they need to build positive lives. Throughout this long-standing partnership youth have benefited from dynamic skill building groups, individual consultations with a public health nurse, outreach from a public health dietitian, nutritional cooking activities and medical community referrals. The MLHU teams’ contributions in service delivery and education are many. They include a teen mothers’ group, interactive cooking activities enjoyed by more than 500 youth since its inception and the services of an on-site nurse at our Youth Action Centre. The on-site nurse assists at-risk or transient youth who have no physician, or, in some cases no proper identification. These services have been delivered with passion and professionalism by our trusted MLHU representatives, Shelley Steele RN, PHN, CCHN(c) and Heather Thomas RD, PhD. The kindness and respect shown to youth by all members of the MLHU team is evident to all who have had the opportunity to work with them. MLHU has been an active supporter of YOU programs and services at the Next Wave Youth Centre as well as in ones in which they are not directly involved. Through letters of support and consultation in funding proposals, MLHU has generously assisted YOU in enhancements to educational health promotion efforts. Dr. Graham Pollett, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for MLHU believes the youth of today will shape our future. “The ways in which we choose to work with youth and how we support their learning will pay dividends for generations to come. The Middlesex-London Health Unit believes that by listening to our young people, by encouraging them and providing them with leadership opportunities, they will develop into committed and involved members of our community.”

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


Steve Cordes Community Star Award This award was created by the Board of Directors in 2008 to recognize exceptional, long-term commitment to youth in London and area.

City of London In 1983 the City of London and Youth Opportunities Unlimited met to discuss the challenges facing the community’s youth. Canada was in a recession. Of all those affected by hard times the most disadvantaged were youth. A community feasibility study by the City and YOU affirmed the need for specific employment services for London and area youth. This study was the start of a long-standing partnership between the City and YOU that has developed and adapted while staying true to a shared belief. Together, we are responsible for our community’s youth. The partnership between the City and YOU has grown to include many community partners who together ensure youth have the supports they need to build positive lives. In 1992 a pilot project of the Coordinating Committee for Children and Youth created a safe place in the downtown where youth at risk could access services at their own pace while connecting them with housing and with staff who listen, care and advocate. The project was the Youth Action Centre. When the pilot phase ended, YOU sustained the Centre by making it part of the agency. Today, the program is supported by more than 21 community partners who together provide funding, health services, referrals, counselling, clothing, food, hygiene materials and gifts for the holiday season. The City has shown continued support of the YOU Made It program developed by YOU to provide youth with skills training and employment. Through a contracted partnership, Ontario Works participants are referred for employment services which prepares them to participate in YOU Made It work placements and also provides ongoing supports for the individuals to be successful in their placements. The City’s support of the Child and Youth Network enables 150 local partner agencies to align and focus on ending poverty, improving healthy eating and healthy physical activity, improving literacy and creating a more family-centred service system. YOU and the City have collaborated on several innovative initiatives such as Hostels to Homes, London CAReS, the delivery of supports to youth in underserved neighbourhoods, the recent research project with Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, London Community Housing Strategy and London Community Plan on Homelessness to support and build capacity with our most vulnerable youth. Most recently, the City’s support of The Cornerstone building has enabled a new level of service for youth at risk. The regeneration of this downtown heritage building was made possible by extensive City support including Community Services, Fire, Housing, Planning, Environmental and Engineering Services. Mayor Fontana believes the relationship between the Corporation of the City of London and Youth Opportunities Unlimited benefits all Londoners. “When we work together to help our youth we not only create opportunities for individuals but also our entire community. YOU clearly illustrates that London is not prepared to leave anyone behind. We have all seen the talent and tenacity of young people who just needed the right option at the right time. This is what our partnership has been able to provide and why we will continue to support YOU programs and the Londoners they serve.” 16

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Nick DiSanto Youth Entrepreneurial Award This award recognizes the entrepreneurial talents of youth at Youth Opportunities Unlimited. The Board of Directors created the award in 2008 in memory of a YOU friend who, after a short career working for others, opened his own business and became a successful entrepreneur.

Andrew Minderlein “Busy is good” says Andrew Minderlein. “It keeps me on the right path.” Busy he is. The 29-year old self-described “go-getter” has a full-time job with the Athletic Club, part-time job cleaning houses, does yard work for neighbours, is the volunteer co-lead of the PEPP (Prevention and Early Intervention in Psychosis Program) for new patients at LHSC, volunteers for PEPP’s Art, Music and Healthy Living groups, and has recently begun work on a video project for LHSC pertaining to mental health. As well, Andrew is a member of YOU’s Youth Insight in which he speaks about youth issues to schools, service clubs, businesses and organizations. In February 2012 Andrew was a keynote speaker at the 6th annual Breakfast for YOU Empowering YOUth. There was a time when life was very different for Andrew. At 16, he left home and was living in a shelter, followed by group homes, a half-way house, couch-surfing and living on the street. “For years I was out of school, out of home and out of luck. I didn’t think beyond my immediate needs.” Drug and alcohol abuse heightened feelings of loneliness and paranoia. Andrew was battling psychosis but didn’t realize how ill he was. Later he was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder. When he dropped into the Youth Action Centre, the counselors saw he needed medical help. With their assistance Andrew admitted himself to the Inpatient Mental Health program at LHSC. He was in the hospital for a month, adjusting to medications and learning how to care for his illness. “That’s a big part of being better, staying with the medication.” Recovery however took time. In four years Andrew was in and out of the hospital three times. That was more than six years ago. Since then Andrew completed high school, earned his G license, found employment and an apartment, began the volunteer work with LHSC he enjoys and has built a life for himself. “Life is so much better now. To build a life you need stability. You need to socialize and not be isolated. And you need the support of others.” Andrew is applying to G.A. Wheable Adult Education Centre to learn the basics in Automotive. When that course is complete he will transfer to Fanshawe College for the apprentice program in the Automotive Service Technician course. “I can handle more than I ever thought possible before. I can see having my own business someday. I’m in a good place now.”

2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited


6th annual Breakfast for YOU Empowering YOUth Thursday, February 2, 2012 London Convention Centre

Presented by Rick and Megan Gleed at DTZ Barnicke. Breakfast for YOU is a heartwarming event. Guests attending this annual fundraiser gain insight into the challenges and issues youth face and the resiliency they develop in dealing with adversity. Keynote speakers Angella Renwick and Andrew Minderlein addressed more than 600 guests on the theme of The Way Home. They each spoke about being alone and without a home, and of the life they have now with a home, stable relationships, employment, and looking to the future with confidence. As hosts of the live auction, Bill Tucker, Director, Thames Valley District School Board and Wilma de Rond, Director, London District Catholic School Board entertained guests with their lively auction banter. Thank you to all who attended Breakfast for YOU and supported the online auction. Special thanks to lead sponsors Rick and Megan Gleed at DTZ Barnicke and to supporting sponsors Libro Financial Group, Gordons Gold Jewellers, RBC, McCormick Canada, CTV and Davis Martindale - Chartered Accountants. The 7th annual Breakfast for YOU takes place Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at the London Convention Centre.

5th annual Reach The Beach Races Friday, August 12, 2011 in Port Stanley

Presented by Intact Insurance More than 300 runners and walkers participated in this fun 5k and 2.5k event organized by New Balance London. The course started and finished at G.T.s Beach Bar & Grill. Proceeds from pledges went to YOU. Thank you to our sponsors and to all who participated and raised pledges. The 6th annual Reach The Beach Races take place Friday, August 17, 2012, 7 pm at G.T.s Beach Bar & Grill.


2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Revenues and Expenditures Total Revenues

$ 5,708,057 Revenues Amortization of Deferred Contributions Relating to Capital Assets Donations & Fundraising United Way of London & Middlesex Earned Revenue Municipal Provincial Federal

Expenditures Other Operating Expenses Professional Fees Program Delivery Amortization Ontario Works Disbursements Participant Wages & Stipends Salaries & Benefits 2011 - 2012 Youth Opportunities Unlimited

YOU Annual Report 2012 8½ x10½ SINGLE PAGES.indd 19

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Youth Opportunities Unlimited proudly acknowledges our funders and major donors 2011-2012

The May Court Club of London

charitable registration # 119307668 RR 0001


Youth Opportunities Unlimited - Annual Report 2011/2012  

Youth Opportunities Unlimited is dedicated to unlocking the potential of youth by providing client centred services emphasizing skills impro...