YMCA of Greater Toronto

Nature and scope

The YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange is a national exchange program coordinated by the YMCA and funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage. For six weeks over the summer, the exchange takes 16- and 17-year-old youth (from Canada) to another province where they stay with a local host, hold a paid job, and practice their second official language. The youth also participate in weekly program activities organized by the Local Coordinator in their new community.

Local Coordinators provide leadership and bring the exchange to life in their local community. First, they will widely promote the program to youth and community organizations in order to recruit young people to participate, while also securing host and job placements for them (March-April). They also interview, select and prepare the outbound youth participants for this experience (May-June). Finally, they plan and deliver a full program of activities during the exchange, and support the inbound youth participants by helping them navigate change and address conflicts as they arise (July-August). Local Coordinators will be positive adult mentors for the youth with an interest in fostering strong relationships and opportunities for learning.

Local Coordinators must be full-time post-secondary students. Successful candidates will have had previous experience working with youth and/or experiential education programs, possess strong communication, customer service and organizational skills, and be highly reliable individuals. They will have insight into Canada’s diversity and value an active approach to social inclusion.