Emily Smith, Amy Jawanda and Amrita Grewal received $5,000 to donate to the Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre after winning the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative at Thomas Haney secondary Monday morning. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge charity recieves $5,000 thanks to students at Thomas Haney

Winners of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative give to the Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre

The Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre is receiving an extra $5,000 thanks to the winners of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative contest at Thomas Haney secondary.

Grade 9 students, as part of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative or YPI, formed teams of between four and six people, and had to research a local charity and do a presentation on why their chosen one should receive the money.

YPI is an award-winning secondary school program that connects youth to social issues, local charities and philanthropy, “at a pivotal stage in their adolescence,” reads the website.

YPI was founded by the Toskan Casale Foundation, the original Canadian creators of MAC Cosmetics.

Over the past 15 years, the Toskan Casale Foundation, along with The Wood Foundation in Scotland have directed more than $15 million in grants to charities across Canada, the United Kingdom and New York City, chosen by more than 450,000 secondary students on both continents.

The goal of the foundation is to strengthen support for local social issues by empowering young people to determine where grant money is best put to use in their own community.

YPI is offered free to secondary schools, but it must be provided inclusively to all students across a grade level as part of a marked project within any mandatory course. It is currently offered in secondary schools across Canada, Scotland, New York City and Northern Ireland.

This year more than 18,000 secondary school students took part in the program across Canada.

Six teams made it to the finals at Thomas Haney.

Amy Jawanda, Amrita Grewal and Emily Smith made up the winning team.

Judges included school board chair Mike Murray, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Dan Ruimy, and three students – Francesca Andreolli, Hudson Campbell, and Sydney Stephen.

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