Youth Challenged to Change the World

    McGuinty Government Partners With Youth and Volunteer Centres

    TORONTO, April 3 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is challenging youth in the province to volunteer five hours
during National Volunteer Week, April 19-25.
    The 2009 ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge offers high
school age youth the opportunity to change the world through voluntary action.
The goal is to have 10,000 students aged 14-18 volunteer across the province
during the week.
    The Ontario government is partnering with the Ontario Volunteer Centre
Network in 19 communities to create local volunteer opportunities for youth.
Young people can use these hours toward their 40 hours required to graduate
from high school.
    Personalities such as singer Fefe Dobson, SkateforCancer's Rob Dyer,
environmentalist David Suzuki, and Olympian Adam van Koeverden are lending
their support to the Challenge.


    "My message to young people is you can make a difference. Volunteer. Be
the change you want to see in the world."
    - Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

    "Civic engagement contributes to creating healthy and prosperous
communities. For anyone who's looking for a volunteer opportunity, all they
need to do is contact their local volunteer centre."
    -Cathy Taylor, Co-Chair, Ontario Volunteer Centre Network

    "The Challenge is an opportunity for students to spend quality time with
their friends and to meet new friends, while giving back to their community.
It is through the power of service that youth can change the world."
    -Carine Strong, Director, Volunteer MBC.

    -   The volunteer rate of youth in Ontario between the ages of 15 and 24
        is 63 per cent.
    -   High school students are required to volunteer 40 hours as part of
        their graduation requirement.
    -   More than 5 million people in Ontario annually donate 800 million
        hours of their time to volunteer activities. Their volunteer
        contributions help make communities better places in which to live.

    Youth can sign up online at - as well as on
Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.
    Visit the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network

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    Young people between the ages of 14-18 are being challenged to volunteer
five hours during National Volunteer Week, April 19-25, 2009 in the
ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge.
    The Ontario Volunteer Centre Network and 19 participating volunteer
centres are partnering with the province to create volunteer opportunities for
youth for the Challenge.
    The goal in 2009 is to get 10,000 Ontario youth to volunteer for five
hours each during National Volunteer Week.
    Youth interested in participating may contact the closest volunteer
centre to their community. Participating centres are listed at

    The 19 communities participating in the Challenge are:
    Alliston                 Mississauga/Brampton
    Belleville               Napanee
    Brockville               Ottawa
    Cambridge                Richmond Hill
    Guelph                   Simcoe
    Hamilton                 St. Catharines
    Kingston                 Thunder Bay
    Kitchener-Waterloo       Toronto
    London                   Windsor

    The ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge is one of many
Ontario programs that promote or recognize volunteerism in the province. Other
programs include the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards; the Ontario Medal for
Young Volunteers and many strategic partnership programs with the voluntary

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For further information:

For further information: Coralie D'Souza, Minister's Office, (416)
325-6204; Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications, (416) 314-7010

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Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

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