York organization creating Future Possibilities for Kids gets a boost
A York-based organization dedicated to creating opportunities for underserved youth will be able to expand its mentoring program thanks to a $13,500 grant from the Canada Post Community Foundation for Children.", "articleBody": "
A York-based organization dedicated to creating opportunities for underserved youth will be able to expand its mentoring program thanks to a $13,500 grant from the Canada Post Community Foundation for Children.
Future Possibilities for Kids is a charitable organization that offers free leadership and life skills development programs to children nine to 12 years old in diverse, under-served communities across the GTA.
Future Possibilities executive director Rickesh Lakhani said the grant will allow the organization to expand its Ready, Set, Goal! program from serving 175 kids to serving 300. The program matches children with an adult volunteer KidCoach.
Over 6 months, the KidCoach supports the child in completing a community service project like, for example, organizing a local park cleanup, running an anti-bullying campaign at their school or advocating to have an accessible playground put up at their local community centre. Through this process, Lakhani said participants build confidence, leadership and important life skills, while also helping their community.
“This grant will support more kids making a difference in their community,” he said, adding that in 2018, each participant’s community project positively impacted an average of 50 people in their community.
“Not only do the kids benefit but so do the volunteers involved, the children’s families and the community at large,” he said. “So this contribution will have an amplified impact on so many people in underserved communities.”
Future Possibilities is in a growth stage and is looking to double its programming over the next three years, including expanding its currently minimal presence in Regent Park, west Scarborough and west Markham.
The organization's programming already serves children living in Vaughan, Richmond Hill, east Markham, east Scarborough and along Jane Street near Hwy. 401, Sheppard and Finch Avenues.
"These are communities where children can thrive with the support and resources they need to become Agents of Change," Lakhani said.
This year, Future Possibilities was one of 118 groups serving children across the country to receive funds from the Canada Post Community Foundation. In all, the foundation provided $1.2 million to children's organizations, raised through a five week in-store campaign to raise donations from Canada Post customers.
Correction– Nov. 6, 2019: This story has been updated from an earlier version to correct the spelling of Sheppard and Finch Avenues