Coast Capital Savings

James in front of garbage truck
James is supported by TeenWork to carry out his dream job on the waste collection team.

Coast Capital investing in young people

When James was a little boy, he was fascinated with garbage trucks. On collection day he watched at the window and ran out to help the waste collectors load the truck.

Now 18, James is a friendly, easy-going teen, who loves bowling, biking and meeting new people. But he’s found it difficult to transition from school to a job that matches his personality and skill set. Last year, he joined TeenWork, a CanAssist program that helps change the life path of young people with disabilities by helping them find and retain part-time employment.

With ongoing support from job coaches at TeenWork, James created resumés, spoke with local employers, and took advantage of work experience opportunities through his school. This specialized support helps young people like James build the confidence and life skills they need for their future, but it wouldn’t be possible without the generous donors who fund TeenWork.

Youth helping youth

One of those funders, Coast Capital Savings, has given more than $120,000 to the program since 2010, almost as long as TeenWork has been operating. Their consistent support has allowed CanAssist to hire qualified coaches and staff to serve the approximately 30 youth participating in the program at any given time.

What’s unique about this funding is that it’s driven by Coast Capital’s “youth helping youth” model. Members of Coast Capital’s innovative Youth Leaders Council program—a program also designed to increase participants’ confidence, leadership skills and community participation—determine where Coast Capital Savings makes investments in local communities.

Philanthropy leadership from a UVic grad

Linley Faulkner, Chair of the Vancouver Island Young Leaders Community Council, was one of the council members involved in the decision to allocate money to CanAssist this year.

“As a UVic alumna, I was aware of CanAssist, but I didn’t know the range and depth of their programs,” she says. Linley got a tour of CanAssist’s headquarters when she visited in December to deliver a cheque for $25,000. “I learned about the many social and technical innovations at CanAssist, and how they make such a huge difference to people’s lives.” 

She was particularly thrilled to learn how important Coast Capital’s funding is for TeenWork. “The more I learned about TeenWork, the more I understood the importance of helping young people with disabilities in this way. I joined the council because I wanted to contribute to my community, and I’m delighted Coast Capital’s funding is doing the same thing for other young people through this program.” 

This year James landed his first job—his dream job—working as a waste collector in his local neighbourhood. Thanks to Coast Capital Savings, that little boy watching garbage trucks is now firmly on a journey to becoming a confident and increasingly independent adult.

Coast Capital present a cheque to TeenWork
Alumna Linley Faulkner (left) is Chair of the Vancouver Island Young Leaders Community Council