New fund to cover the cost of leadership training for Kawartha Lakes youth

Ryder Lytle, 17 (right), is one of many students at Fenelon Falls High School interested in the Rural Youth Leadership Fund, which will cover costs for Kawarthas Lakes residents aged 17 to 29 who wish to participate in the leadership training offered by the Institute for Change Leaders. Other interested students, pictured with Deputy Principal Elizabeth Alton, include (left to right) Sophie Kaloudas, Olivia Van Schaik, Logan MacInnis, Emily Smith, as well as (not pictured) Anna Entzin-Telford. (Photo courtesy of the Kawartha Lakes Community Foundation)

The Kawartha Lakes Community Foundation announced the new Rural Youth Leadership Fund that will cover the costs of Kawarthas Lakes residents ages 17-29 who wish to participate in leadership training.

Founded by longtime Fenelon Falls resident Mike Perry, the fund will cover tuition for training programs offered by the Institute For Change Leaders as well as accommodation and transportation costs and even lost wages due participation in programs.

“I started this fund because I know our local youth have the voice and power to strengthen our communities in the future,” Perry said in a press release. “I just want to help them access training from the best in the industry, to bring their newfound knowledge to work in our Kawartha Lakes communities. »

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A registered Canadian charity, the Institute For Change Leaders (ICL) was founded in 2016 by Olivia Chow, longtime activist, Toronto politician and widow of the late federal NDP leader Jack Layton. Using unique methods from Harvard University, ICL combines the art of personal discovery with real-world organizational skills to help people channel their inner leader and learn how to make change in the areas that matter to them. .

“We are pleased to provide this opportunity to strengthen youth leadership here in Kawartha Lakes,” said Kawartha Lakes Community Foundation President Jack Roks. “This will help local youth access the latest and greatest in leadership training.”

Lindsay resident Jessica Topfer, 25, says she is thrilled to have access to leadership training so she can grow both personally and professionally.

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“As a young person, having affordable access to learning resources positions me better to participate in spaces and conversations where young people are typically not really included, especially decision-making.” said Topfer.

The Kawartha Lakes Community Foundation will provide all Kawartha Lakes secondary schools — Lindsay Collegiate and Vocational Institute, IE Weldon Secondary School, Fenelon Falls Secondary School and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School — with information about the Youth Leadership Fund rural.

“Our young people know what is missing in our communities and I’m thrilled that this fund wants to engage with young people in that capacity,” says Elizabeth Alton, Vice-Principal of Fenelon Falls High School. “Students here have already expressed interest in strengthening our community through their leadership and this opportunity will certainly help.”

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One such student is 17-year-old Ryder Lytle. The Grade 12 student, who lives in Kirkfield, also runs his own business.

“It’s great that this fund is being created to help us grow and learn how to lead and change things for the better,” Lytle says. “I am considering taking the program and would recommend everyone to check it out.”

For more information about the Rural Youth Leadership Fund, contact the Kawartha Lakes Community Foundation at [email protected] or 705-928-5953. For more information about ICL, visit

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