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Young Ontarians Set Volunteer Record

Archived News Release

Young Ontarians Set Volunteer Record

Province Celebrates Outstanding ChangeTheWorld Campaign

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

More than 67,000 young Ontarians participated in the 2016 ChangeTheWorld - Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge - setting a new participation record for the annual campaign. 

High school students between the ages of 14 to 18 volunteered for a minimum of three hours in communities across the province between April 10 and May 23. Throughout the six-week campaign, students contributed over 376,000 hours in their communities by planning and participating in more than 900 activities. Highlights from the campaign include: 

  • Napanee District Secondary School students organized and choreographed a flash mob of 400 youth dancers on the streets of downtown Napanee to raise awareness for the Canadian Cancer Society.
  • Youth from Cambridge and North Dumfries, including students from St. Benedict's Catholic Secondary School, filled and donated 98 purses, 35 backpacks and six boxes with hygiene supplies to local shelters for their "Pack A Purse Challenge."
  • Students of Sudbury's Lockerby Composite School organized the Kids Caring For Kids Cancer Drive, fundraising more than $64,000 for the Northern Cancer Foundation.
  • The District School Board of Niagara's Student Trustee Senate organized the first-ever "Step Past the Stigma" walk, with more than 300 participants raising awareness of mental health issues in the community. 

The ChangeTheWorld challenge, which is delivered in partnership with the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network, encourages young people to change the world by getting involved in their communities. It also helps youth develop important skills like teamwork and leadership while gaining experiences that can prepare them for success. 

Encouraging young people to volunteer and be active in their communities is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • The 2016 ChangeTheWorld campaign ran from April 10 to May 23.
  • 67,303 young people volunteered for 376,073 hours during the 2016 campaign.
  • Since 2008, over 248,000 Ontario youth have contributed more than 1.2 million volunteer hours in their communities through ChangeTheWorld.

Additional Resources


“Congratulations to everyone involved in making this year’s ChangeTheWorld campaign the most successful yet. I’m proud of the thousands of youth who made a real difference in their communities. By participating in ChangeTheWorld, young people across the province developed their skills and talents, formed friendships, and experienced the power of giving back to the community through volunteering.”

Laura Albanese

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

“Youth in Ontario have a tremendous potential to make a positive impact on their communities. Through ChangeTheWorld, we witnessed this potential turn into meaningful volunteer action. By contributing their creativity, passion and effort, tens of thousands of youth volunteers have made our province a better place for all of us over the course of the campaign.”

Patricia Weiler

Chair of the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network

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