Oak Bay High Youth Philanthropic Initiative members Matt Graff, Alex Zhao, John Contogiorgis and Hudson Board. The group raised money for the Victoria Youth Clinic Society for its work supporting youth mental health in Greater Victoria. (Ben Turner Photo)

Oak Bay youth philanthropists support mental health

High school group selects Victoria Youth Health clinic

Each year Oak Bay High’s Youth Philanthropic Initiative, a group of Grade 11 students, chooses a local organization as the recipient for a $5,000 grant.

This year the group of John Contogiorgis, Matt Graff, Hudson Board, and Alex Zhao chose the Victoria Youth Clinic Society. It’s never an easy choice for the students, but this year two of the four members went into the decision with previous experience.

“We chose the Victoria Youth Clinic Society because they had helped two of our teammates, [myself] and [Board], with some problems they were facing regarding mental health,” Contogiorgis said.

“They gave them someone to talk to and helped them find the means to get better,” Contogiorgis said. “We wanted to give back to them and raise awareness for the work they did to help our teammates.”

READ MORE: Victoria’s vulnerable children benefit from young Oak Bay philanthropists

READ ALSO: Students score funds for Victoria Hospice

The non-profit Victoria Youth Clinic started in 1998 offering primary health care services such as mental health and addiction care for youth aged 12 to 24 years. The clinic has an extensive team of nurses, counsellors, psychiatrists, outreach workers, youth support workers, a parent support worker, wellness navigator and administrative staff.

“One thing that they insisted throughout our entire interview [at Victoria Youth Clinic] was how important it was to take care of your own mental health,” Contogiorgis said.

The team left with a fresh reminder, and experience, of what many people forget, which is to take care of their own mental health issues, he added.

“They showed us a bit of what it is like behind the scenes at the charity,” Contogiorgis said. “We were able to gain a deeper understanding of how they work and how much they rely on everyday donations from people around the community.

The Youth Philanthropic Initiative is a national program that provides the funds, and the purpose, for high school students who then select a social service in their community. It is a process that involves interviewing multiple organizations.

Teacher Roxanne Taggart credits the Toskan Cascale organization for their sponsorship of the program at Oak Bay High for nine years.

This year’s Oak Bay YPI grant recipient is an organization the winners highly recommend.

“They deserve a lot of praise for what they are doing and trying to achieve,” Contogiorgis said. “If you or a loved one is feeling not entirely 100 per cent, we highly suggest that you go to the Victoria Youth Clinic.”

Exceptional Oak Bay youth honoured at 2019 Yes awards


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

Deadline extended for annual writing competition

Mail-in entry format makes Victoria Writer’s Society contest perfect for the times

Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

Phoning Seniors Together program lines up volunteers with seniors at Luther Court

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read