The YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange is a six-week summer program for 16- and 17-year-old youth.
In Manitoba, each English-speaking participant is matched with a French-speaking participant from Québec, and the two youth are hosted in each other’s homes to deepen their cultural experience (in situations where a participant’s family is unable to host, the YMCA seeks alternate hosts).
Youth are also provided with a full-time summer job in the non-profit or public sector of the local community in which they are being hosted, and are paid the provincial minimum wage (subsidized by the YMCA).
This aspect of the program gives participants invaluable work experience in day camps, child-care centres, museums, libraries, offices, and other settings, as well as a chance to use their second official language in practical situations on a daily basis.
All participants, families, and employers will receive support from a YMCA local co-ordinator. During weekends and some evenings, the youth will join their local co-ordinator in group activities to explore their new community and form lasting friendships.
The summer exchange program is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, and is offered at minimal cost ($50) to participants.
Natalie Poiron, the local co-ordinator for Brandon, is drumming up support for the program.
1. She encourages Westman’s 16- and 17-year-olds to apply.
2. She’s hoping adult members of the community volunteer as alternate host families.
3. Finally, she hopes organizations apply to employ a participant during the exchange period. Employers receive a full wage subsidy up to $2,205 (six weeks x 35 hours/week x $10.50), reimbursed at the end of the program by the YMCA. Employers are responsible for payroll deductions and remittances.
For more information, visit: www.summer-work.com or contact Natalie at: email@example.com or by phone at 204-721-0910.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 17, 2012