Youth Champions Program

About the Program

The Youth Champions Program is a peer-to-peer learning exchange and collaboration space for Canadian and international youth, in a spirit of multi-generational collaboration with Canadian small and medium organizations (SMO). The program aims to increase their capacities, opportunities, and contribution to public engagement on global issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly gender equality.



Below, find details about the program objectives, eligibility criteria, and the past application process. You’ll also be able to see the latest information session for a more in-depth explanation and links to view our previous YCP cohorts.


This nine-month program starting in January 2023 will offer skills training, support, opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, tailored subject matter, and mentorship to SMOs and youth, who will then plan and implement public engagement activities to engage Canadians as global citizens.


Youth will benefit not only from the training, but also from opportunities to deepen their understanding and engagement, and address and overcome barriers to their meaningful participation in the international cooperation sector and on global issues. They will also have opportunities to influence decisions at the organizational level.


Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation and they will become part of a Youth Champions alumni network.


SMOs will benefit from focused learning opportunities to deepen their youth engagement, and collaborate with youth, and the general public through this experience.


  1. Meet the GAC definition of SMOs
  2. Be working on projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), gender equality and/or Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP)
  3. Have some experience engaging with youth in their community
  4. Demonstrate commitment to making meaningful youth engagement and multi-generational collaboration a priority in the organization
  5. Be willing to contribute up to 3 hours/week to this initiative for the duration of the program
  6. Have the capacity to provide support, mentorship, and opportunities for meaningful participation and contribution to their youth champions for the duration of the six-month program. This includes having a lead or point person with whom the Youth Champion will be working, as well as having whole organizational buy-in
  7. Have the means to facilitate numerous public engagement activities in their community, including through hybrid and online formats considering the current pandemic context
  8. Be willing to share their experiences with the Program with other organizations, in the future.

  1. Youth must be between 18 to 35-years-old by the start of the program (January 2023).
  2. For Canadian youth: Preferably be involved or affiliated with a Canadian small or medium organization (SMO) as a current or former volunteer, member, alumnus, or partner. Spur Change might be able to facilitate the connection of a selected Canadian Youth with a local Canadian SMO.
  3. For International youth: Be involved or affiliated with a Canadian small or medium organization (SMO) as a current or former volunteer, member, alumnus, employee or partner. Do note, we prioritize those applying from countries considered part of the global south.
  4. Be willing to contribute 5 hours/week to this initiative for the duration of the program.
  5. Have access to reliable internet or phone line. Spur Change might be able to cover the cost of this if it is a barrier to participation.
  6. Demonstrates experience and commitment to working with youth in their community.
  7. Demonstrates interests and ideas to forward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and/or gender equality.
  8. Demonstrates excellent leadership skills.
  9. Demonstrates the ability to engage an audience.
  10. Demonstrates a capacity to collaborate with others.
  11. Demonstrates willingness and availability to take on self-directed learning.
  12. Demonstrates willingness and availability to report back on all activities, including writing reflections and follow-up reports.
  13. Demonstrates an interest to integrate into the SMO network.
  14. Demonstrates an interest to develop public engagement activities aligned with the partner SMO values.


The application process for the Youth Champions Program is meant to be a collaborative process between the SMO and the youth (Canadian or international). SMOs are encouraged to discuss the opportunity with the youth they wish to nominate, sharing with them the program objectives, activities, expectations, and requirements. A few items of note:

  • Each of the SMOs and Youth are expected to complete a separate application form. 
  • We strongly suggest that the person completing the application from the SMO will be the actual person responsible for working and supporting the Youth throughout the program.
  • SMOs are welcome to nominate either a Canadian or an international youth.
  • SMOs are welcome to nominate more than one youth, bearing in mind that only one Canadian and one international youth will be selected per region, and that each youth will have to apply.
While we suggest applying alongside an organisation, if you’re a youth interested in the program without a partner SMO, don’t hesitate to apply! We welcome all applications.

Hear from some YCP alumni

Previous Cohorts

Inter-Council Network-Réseau de coordination des conseils