Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program, BC and Yukon Division
Our Impact Why We Exist
From humble beginnings in 1956 with just 20 participants, the Award has grown to over 7 million participants in over 140 countries. Why? Because of its profound, positive, long term impact on youth, and its recognition and support by donors who care about youth.
The Award program supports emotional, physical, mental, and community wellbeing for youth. In 2008 a national study of youth who completed the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award reported the following results:
Participating youth increased their weekly physical activity by 69% compared to before, and 79% continued their new active lifestyle long after the requirements of the award were completed!
79% continue to volunteer long after meeting the award requirements because of the value they have found through the experience!
87% felt more confident about themselves and their ability to achieve their life goals! This is compared to the national average of only 44% for youth ages 15-19 years old.
91% were proud of the goals they achieved and 80% felt they understood their strengths and weaknesses better having gone through the Award program!
80% of youth reported that the Adventurous Journey was challenging and 70% say they are more adventurous as a result! 65% say they made lasting friendships on their journey.
More than 20% of Award participants are considered at-risk youth and of those 84% developed skills during the program that they used to achieve future goals!
When youth can participate in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award the whole community wins. We help youth dream big and feel the confidence that comes with going after those dreams.
Our Story What We Do
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award empowers young people ages 14 to 24 to Make A Difference in their own lives and the lives of others. We see it every day at our office. Youth tell us about their incredible adventures and self-discoveries as they work to achieve their goals. They climb mountains, volunteer in their communities, commit to learning a new skill. They discover themselves and learn the hardest and most precious lesson of all for today's youth: to believe in themselves, to trust themselves, to know they can achieve what they work towards. Our job is to make sure the Award is accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status, ability, ethnicity or gender.
There are three levels of the Award: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Within each level the Award program is divided into four core components: community service, physical fitness, skill development, and adventurous journeys in nature. Each Award experience is unique to the individual youth participant. Each youth decides for themselves what they are going to do in each area.
Here, at the BC & Yukon Division, we work hard to engage youth in the Award through exciting activity based workshops, presentations, and recruiting leaders through schools, cadets, scouts, community centres and other youth groups to support the Award in their communities. Once we have engaged youth in the Award we work tirelessly as facilitators and cheerleaders to help youth and their leaders towards the completion of their Award. Then, we review applications for Award and ensure that the requirements are met. We issue certificates, pins, and approval for high school course credits that youth can use towards they high school diploma. We also organize large ceremonies to honour youth publicly for their achievements. The Silver Awards are presented by the Lt. Governor of BC and the Gold Awards are presented by a member of the Royal Family or the Governor General of Canada.
The Award was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as a means of empowering youth. The Award came to Canada in 1963 and currently runs in over 140 countries, with approximately 44,000 youth participating. The BC & Yukon Division supports approximately 8,000 youth and has initiated several exciting programs to support and engage at-risk, rural, aboriginal, new immigrant, and youth with disabilities in the Award.
Our Programs How We Do It
In addition to facilitating the Award program for approximately 8,000 youth across BC and Yukon, there are several programs on Vancouver Island that support youth who would not normally have the access to the Award.
Victoria Youth Accessibility Initiative
Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Victoria allows us to cover the registration fees and Adventurous Journey costs for their youth. All of their youth, including at-risk youth, youth in care, teen moms, and youth in the justice system have sponsored registration fees. The youth are mentored and supported by Boys & Girls Club staff on a weekly basis. We also cover the often prohibitive costs of the Adventurous Journey. For far too many youth the adventurous journey is the first time they have canoed or hiked in wilderness!
Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club started in late 2013 and already we have presented several youth their Bronze Awards in a regional ceremony. These youth tell us that they would never have thought theycould do the Award, and they would never have tried without the financial support of the Accessibility Initiative and the mentorship of the Boys & Girls Club. Now these youth are eagerly working towards their Silver Awards.
Starting in September 2014 all youth who register with the Boys & Girls Club are automatically registered into the Award program. We are actively fundraising to cover the cost of registration and the Adventurous Journeys.
The West Coast Challenge
In June 2013 we launched an Aboriginal youth engagement program that seeks to develop relationships with Aboriginal communities on Vancouver Island and the coastal mainland.
With culturally resonant outreach materials and workshops, we travel to Aboriginal communities and work with local educators and youth workers to establish Duke of Edinburgh’s Award groups. We also sponsor registration fees for all Aboriginal youth. Multiple communities have already begun Award programs and we are seeking funding to beable to increase community visits, sponsorship for Aboriginal youth, and help with Adventurous Journey costs for Aboriginal Award groups.
In the rest of the province we have programs to support inner city youth, youth with disabilities, rural youth and new immigrant youth. We do good work with the support of our generous donors!
What You Can Do
When you donate to the Award, you are helping to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of youth in your community. As a supporter, your donation provides youth the opportunity to explore their potential, take on new challenges, give back to the community and achieve success. By donating to the BC & Yukon Division, you are making a difference to YOUR community and providing The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with the funds required to ensure that all young people across your province have the opportunity to participate in the Award, regardless of social, economic or geographical background.
You can support the Award in your community by making a donation to the BC & Yukon Division. You can donate to a particular initiative (ie: Victoria Youth Accessibility Initiative) or to the Division as a whole to help us carry out this exceptional program.