The Youth Internship Program is an exciting new model for growing leaders within the church and the community. Each YIP participant follows a tailored program of community service, faith formation, leadership skills development, Christian mentorship and intensive one-on-one coaching.
A participant’s time commitment over the September to June program varies; usually about 4.5 hours per week. At the end of the Youth Internship Program youth will have developed essential skills and understanding to be able to lead community and parish initiatives. Interns receive a stipend of $800.
YIP is designed for youth in grades 11 to first year post-secondary education. Participants do not need to be members of an Anglican Church; however they are expected to worship with regularity and be a visible part of the faith community during the internship period.
Interested parents, grandparents, clergy and youth leaders are invited to contact Leslie Giddings, Learning Facilitator to discuss this opportunity.
YIP began in 2015 as an 18 month pilot project funded by a GIFT grant from the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa to St. James, Manotick. 19 youth have completed YIP and gone on to serve their churches and community. True to its goal of being a ministry that serves the widest possible spectrum of youth, support has come from many cornerns of the church: The Anglican Foundation, parishes, individual donors and diocesean budget.
The Anglican Bishop of Ottawa oversees YIP similar to other diocesean ministries. Leslie Giddings, Learning Facilitator provided day to day oversight and direction while the YIP Co-ordinator, Donna Rourke provides operational support and is the primary contact for interns. An independent Steering Committee provides direction, oversight and support to YIP.
YIP follows the principles and practices set out in Embracing God’s Future and by diocesean policies on inclusion, diversity and safe churches.
The program has five components:
Interns may select to work within a parish setting, at the diocesan office or one of our community partner organizations. Placement options include but not limited to: youth ministry, children’s ministry, communications, special event planning, hospitality ministry or with community agencies such as Centre 454, KAIROS, Habitat for Humanity, PWRDF, and the Food Bank.The Coordinator works intentionally with the interns and placement supervisors to cultivate a meaningful work placement.
The interns meet with the Coordinator and the Faith Formation team for faith formation session 4-6 times during the placement. The intention of this aspect of the program is to provide an opportunity to learn about faith and to ask questions.
The component of the Youth Internship Program provides learning experiences led by community and business leaders from across Eastern Ontario. The leadership sessions encourage to advocate for themselves and others. Additionally, they learn communication, networking and awareness of mental health which are important now and will benefit them in years to come. The interns meet for leadership development 2-3 times a term.
When asked what would make our program better, our first cohort of interns suggested that having their own Christian mentor would be a great additional component of the program. Each intern is assigned a Christian mentor for the year. This is someone from a different age demographic than the intern. This relationship is supported by the Coordinator and provides a sounding board, listening ear or a prayer partner as needed.
Each intern is in contact weekly with the Coordinator by email and/or text. Additionally, they meet every six weeks for to review the intern’s progress. Intentional coaching regarding the work placement is provided. Referrals for additional emotional support or crisis intervention are available, if needed.