What is ChangeTheWorld?
ChangeTheWorld: Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge is a six-week campaign with one goal: get high school students to volunteer in their community. Bonus: Students get the community involvement hours they need to graduate high school.
How We Started
ChangeTheWorld started as a test project in 2008, with the goal of getting 300 youth to volunteer locally. Volunteer opportunities were coordinated by 7 volunteer centres. Our first year was a huge success. Over 900 youth volunteered in their cities and towns during the campaign.
In 2009, 19 volunteer centres came on board, and over 8,500 youth volunteered.
For 2010, the campaign was extended to 3 weeks. Over 11,000 youth and 21 volunteer centres participated surpassing our goal of 10,000.
For 2011, 21 volunteer centres took part representing more than 265 communities across Ontario. Once again, we surpassed our target. Almost 15,000 youth volunteered nearly 70,000 hours. That's a 24% increase in youth participants and 40% increase in volunteer hours over the 2010 campaign!
In 2012, 25 volunteer centres took up the challenge, helping us to surpass our target yet again! Almost 28,000 youth volunteered close to 124,000 hours over 3 weeks.
In 2013, we had a total of 38,000 high school youth volunteering over 170,000 hours in their communities.
The 2014 goal was to engage over 33,000 young people in volunteering a minimum of 99,000 hours over the course of six weeks, with a total of 39,500 high school youth volunteering over 209,650 hours ChangeTheWorld exceeded its goal!
The 2015 goal is to engage over 37,000 young people in volunteering a minimum of 3 hours over the course of six weeks.
Does this count towards my 40 hour community credits?
Yes. Volunteer hours gained during the ChangeTheWorld campaign count toward community service hours needed for graduation. Please speak with your school, local participating volunteer centre or the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network so that they can help you record these hours for school.
How much time do I have to volunteer?
For the 2015 ChangeTheWorld challenge, we’re asking Ontario youth to volunteer three hours during the six-week campaign, which starts during National Volunteer Week, April 12 – April 18, and continues to May 24.
Can I create my own volunteer project?
Yes. If you are interested in creating your own volunteer project during the campaign, just connect with your nearest participating volunteer centre to ensure it counts toward the youth challenge. If you do not have a volunteer centre in your area, please contact the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network to qualify your hours.
Can anybody volunteer?
The ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge is a program designed for high school students looking for volunteer opportunities in their community. If you’re not a student, volunteer centres have many opportunities for you to volunteer in your community.
Do I have to be 14 or older to volunteer?
In order for the volunteer hours to count towards our campaign goal, you must be between 14-18 years of age; however, there are opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer.
There is no participating volunteer centre in my area. Can I still participate in ChangeTheWorld?
High schools and students across Ontario are encouraged to volunteer during National Volunteer Week and during the 3 week ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge campaign. Contact the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network or the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade for more information.
What is the partnership with the Ministry of Education’s Student Voice initiative about?
Student Voice and ChangeTheWorld are both helping to engage youth in their schools and community. SpeakUp projects are a part of the Ministry of Education's Student Voice initiative. Since 2010, students have been able to apply for SpeakUp project grants to create student-led volunteer projects during the ChangeTheWorld campaign. For information on the Ministry of Education's Student Voice initiative, visit www.ontario.ca/speakup.
Provincial Volunteer Awards
The Ontario Honours and Awards Secretariat honours volunteers of every age who contribute selflessly to building caring communities across Ontario. Contact the Secretariat by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone by at 416-314-7526.
Lieutenant Governor Community Volunteer Award for Students
(Only school officials can nominate a student for this award) The Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Awards for Students honours an exceptional student volunteer attending an Ontario secondary school. It honours those who not only complete the number of volunteer hours required to graduate, but who go above and beyond.
Lincoln M. Alexander Award
The Lincoln M. Alexander Award honours youth who have worked to eliminate racial discrimination in Ontario. This award was first given in 1993. There are three awards – two student awards and one community award. Each year, three young people, between the ages of 16 and 25, receive an award of $5,000 each and a framed scroll.
Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers
The Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers recognizes the outstanding achievements of youth volunteers across the province. The personal commitment of time and effort made by young volunteers is a valuable contribution to the quality of life in our communities, and our province.
Ontario Volunteer Service Awards
The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards honour the thousands of people who generously contribute their time as volunteers across Ontario. Youth volunteers must be under 24 years old and have volunteered with one group for at least 2 consecutive years. Nominate online: https://www.appenom.citizenship.gov.on.ca/enom/Agreement.aspx?formid=6