Youth Empowering Youth in Regent Park

The Youth Empower Youth (YEY) group was formed in Regent Park to help identify opportunities to better support youth needs in the community.

Group of people standing around a table at a mental health workshop

Members of Youth Empower Youth are pictured at one of its Train Your Brain workshops, a safe space where youth can come out and talk about mental health and resources.

The Youth Empower Youth (YEY) group was formed three years ago in Regent Park to help identify opportunities to better support youth needs in the community. It was also formed to increase awareness about the supports and services available to young people.

The YEY group is made up of tenant youths, youth workers, community leaders and TCHC staff. Over the past two years, they have launched several successful initiatives. This includes mental health workshops, art projects, and women's self-defense classes. Their most well-known and impactful program is the Youth Crisis Care Fund. It provides emergency funding to youth aged 12 to 29 who are facing a crisis. The program allows them to use emergency funding for necessities like food, temporary housing, and medical prescriptions.

How Youth Empower Youth supports youth in Regent Park

When asked how YEY created their initiatives, members said it was based on feedback they heard from other youth living in the Regent Park community. "Our programming is based on the research findings from the survey and focus groups that we held," said Raisa Chowdhury, a member of the YEY group. "From the 350 youth that participated, we were able to create a one-pager of the research findings and see what youth really wanted."

The growth and impact of the group have caught the attention of TCHC staff. In August, TCHC hosted a networking event where YEY members received recognition and tokens of appreciation from TCHC President and CEO Jag Sharma, as well as members of the Development team. “Because there’s so much changing in Regent Park, youth are the ones that will stay in this community for future years,” said Raisa. “It’s important for them to make these connections and know what’s happening in the community.”

Group shot of YEY members and TCHC staff

Members of YEY and TCHC staff with TCHC CEO Jag Sharma (back row, third from left) at an August networking event

Read YEY’s feature on CBC News!

CBC News recently produced a story about the YEY group and their work. To check it out, visit the CBC website.