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Youth Futures

A youth-led and youth-centered network of 20 communities across Turtle Island that supports the creation of new pathways from high school to post-secondary, training, employment and community leadership opportunities.


Community Innovation Fund Impacts

accessible education

Youth in rural communities often lack clear pathways from high school to post-secondary education, training programs, or employment. This can be compounded by other barriers including poverty, racism, lack of adult support, and poor mental or physical health. CBYF communities designed initiatives that engaged a diverse range of community members to offer a more holistic array of education options and supports.

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Community Innovation Fund Impacts

employment & mentorship

To succeed in a chosen career, youth need a series of opportunities that incrementally increase their capacity for success. These opportunities not only help young people practice their job skills they also enable youth to grow confidence in their abilities. This makes them more likely to invest in higher education or training programs in the future. 

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Community Innovation Fund Impacts

holistic health and wellbeing

Almost all CIF initiatives engaged youth experiencing food insecurity, insufficient housing, or other issues securing basic needs. Across the board, when CIF projects addressed these gaps in basic needs, youth had more energy to focus on graduating from school and transitioning into further education or employment. These supports may have required small investments in innovation, funds, or time but had significant impacts on youth success when offered in conjunction with education and employment initiatives.  

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Community Innovation Fund Impacts

service navigation & access to supports

Accessing services can be a stigmatizing and emotionally vulnerable experience for youth, compounded by the fact that many young people do not know what services are available to them. CIF initiatives focused on integrating existing service providers, metal health supports, and adult mentors to create holistic ‘webs of support’ that helped youth overcome multiple barriers to success.  

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Community Innovation Fund Impacts

youth engagement & leadership

CBYF leadership teams acknowledge that youth are the ultimate subject matter experts. Youth have strong opinions on what initiatives and services they want and are much more likely to participate when their feedback is genuinely respected. Leadership opportunities in a CIF project often served as a stepping stone for youth, helping them gain relevant job experience and encouraging them to take up further leadership positions.  

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Community Innovation Fund Impacts

identity & social connections

Young people need to feel like valued and respected members of a community to realize their potential in education and employment. Opportunities for social connection and cultural identity are so important for youth because supportive adult allies and peer mentors can increase youth confidence and help them prepare for new challenges in the future. 

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Tamarack continues to be a pivotal force in community change and systems change as demonstrated through its Communities Building Youth Futures initiative, which was launched almost 5 years ago through generous funding by the Government of Canada’s Supports for Student Learning Program.


getting started    


A Guide for Navigating the Future of Work for Youth and Employers

Engaging Youth

Meaningfully Engaging Youth

youth excitement

Communities Building Youth Futures Formative Evaluation Report

youth group leaders

Diverse Credit Pathways Toolkit


Communities Plan on a Page

Design Collective Impact-1

Communities: Guide on a Page


cbyf experience

The Communities Building Youth Futures network is supported by Tamarack to connect and empower youth centred, place-based partnerships that are multi-generational and multi-sectoral to make meaningful changes for youth that face the greatest barriers to prosperity. Collectively, the 20 collaboratives have made the following impacts since 2020:

  • 42,116 youth have advanced in their educational and employment journeys
  • 5,000 youth have become co-designers and leaders in their personal and community’s success
  • 7,000 system partners (employers, educational systems, municipal governments, youth, and community organizations) have collaborated on solutions to support young people

We are committed to: 

Center youth voice and leadership in collective action-planning and decision-making

Enable experimentation and development of new models which support youth in the community

Improve learning and employment outcomes for youth as they transition to adulthood

Address systemic inequities at the community level that create barriers for youth

Ensure that youth are involved in the design of community-based action

meet the team

Angelina Pelletier

Associate Director

LISA3 (3)-1
Mike Des Jardins

Senior Community Animator

Rana Nemat Allah

Manager of Communities 

Mairead Stewart

Community Animator, Research and Writing

Savroop Shergill

Manager of Communities 

Aaliyah Lahai

Community Animator 

get in touch

We’re happy to answer questions, discuss community issues and direct you to trusted resources. Get in touch with a specific team member or submit a general inquiry.


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