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Walking in Bethany Downer’s shoes

By Casey Shore

Guest blogger Bethany Downer is sharing her story about how IMPACT! has influenced her career. She quickly became known at the 2014 conference as “the girl from Newfoundland who plans to be an astronaut.” Meeting Chris Hadfield and hearing our guest speakers inspired her to start two non-profit organizations. Keep reading to find out more about her latest initiatives…

Guest Blogger: Bethany Downer
Age: 21
Residence: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

I can confidently state that after attending the 2014 Impact! Conference my life has changed. I was brought to the conference for my interest in sustainable initiatives and to meet my hero, Chris Hadfield. I quickly became known at the conference as the girl from Newfoundland who plans to be an astronaut and I think my fellow delegates soon learned I was fully serious in my intents to realize this dream.
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GUELPH, ON, July 8, 2015 /CNW/

Today, The Co-operators and The Natural Step Canada announced a new partnership agreement to jointly deliver the IMPACT! Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership over the next four years. The collaboration significantly deepens the capacity of the IMPACT! program to achieve its vision of developing young sustainability leaders across Canada.

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Vote Now Vote Then with Missy Sauro

By Casey Shore

Missy Sauro is a dedicated student leader from the University of Windsor who studied Social Work, Political Science and Communications, Media and Film. And she runs an amazing project that received IMPACT! Funding in 2015.

Missy identified a lack of political engagement in her community, especially in the youngest generation of voters. Check out what she’s done to address this issue in just the past year since her participation in the 2014 IMPACT! Conference.

Missy Sauro is a dedicated student leader from the University of Windsor who studied Social Work, Political Science and Communications, Media and Film. And she runs an amazing project that received IMPACT! Funding in 2015.

Missy identified a lack of political engagement in her community, especially in the youngest generation of voters. Check out what she’s done to address this issue in just the past year since her participation in the 2014 IMPACT! Conference and the Guelph 2015 IMPACT!…
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We want to help you make positive sustainable change in your community! If you’re leading a sustainability iniative and are looking for funding, apply now to the IMPACT! Fund. Applications close June 30. 


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Where does your garden grow?

By Tom Ewart

Since 2009, the IMPACT! Fund has awarded more than $430,000 to alumni across Canada of both IMPACT! Conferences and regional Champions Trainings. One of the recipients this year is Abigail Hann who is from Port Blandford, Newfoundland.

Port Blandford has a population of approximately 600 permanent residents. Abigail saw the need to begin a community garden that would promote a stronger sustainability ethic by encouraging residents to grow their own food together thus increasing food security…

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The Edible Art Project: Grow, Stop, Think, and Talk

By IMPACT! Youth Program

Richard Norton, an IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training alumnus, recently took some time to share his story about how he was impacted by the IMPACT! training he received and to tell us about the project he is launching this spring.

Can you tell us about your IMPACT! experience?

I first heard about IMPACT! in high school and kept it in mind. I applied to a workshop in Guelph and I didn’t know what to expect.


I can easily say it was one of the best weekends of my life. It really made it…

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 What happens when you bring together 45 youth sustainability leaders for a weekend of training and empowerment? You get 45 plans of action for sustainable leadership with leaders who have started implementing them to make an impact in their communities.

Champions Guelph 2015

From February 27 to March 1, 2015, young sustainability leaders from Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Toronto, and as far away as Sherbrooke, Quebec descended upon Guelph for three days of training to deepen their understanding of…

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The Power of Food Begins at Mile Zero

By IMPACT! Youth Program – 3 Comments

The choices we make about food dictate our health, shape our communities, and impact the environment. Seed by Seed, a non-profit organization and IMPACT! Fund recipients in both 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, strives to empower youth to reconnect with their food and become catalysts of positive change.

We recently asked Danielle Prapavessis, an alumna from IMPACT! Ottawa Champion 2013 and one of the founders of Seed by Seed, to share a bit about their story.

Can you briefly describe your project?

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IMPACT! 2014 Conference attendees taking action!

By IMPACT! Youth Program

Six months after the IMPACT! Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership, the 177 youth sustainability leaders who attended are well on their way to making real and tangible impacts in their communities.

In a recent post-conference survey, 74% of the respondents said that they have taken action following the IMPACT! Conference, and those actions involved nearly 3500 people.

Some of their projects, actions, and direct involvement have encompassed community gardens, energy, shoe recycling, po…

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Turning project ideas into reality

By IMPACT! Youth Program

Almost forty passionate, emerging, sustainability leaders gathered in Ottawa in November for a three-day IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training program. The Co-operators and The Natural Step Canada have partnered together to offer a transformational experience to support passionate and motived youth who seek to be catalysts of change in their communities.

"…turning my project seed into a series of concrete steps and actions"

Opportunities for networking, inspiring one another, diving…

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  • The Power of Food Be…
    Rebekah Churchyard says:
    Hey Danielle,
    Thank you for your response! I will keep an eye and an ear out for Green Thumbs and Seed by Seed; great website!
    -Rebekah
    4 months ago
  • The Power of Food Be…
    Danielle Prapavessis says:
    Hey Rebekah! We have done a little restructuring with our summer plans- and will instead be doing our worskhops in partnership with Green Thumbs, a Toronto based organization that focuses on gardening and environmental programming to youth! You can read more about them at their website here: http://www.kidsgrowing.ca/. We are also organizing 5…
    4 months ago
  • The Power of Food Be…
    Rebekah Churchyard says:
    This is inspiring! When are you coming to University of Toronto? I tried to search it on the web but no luck! I would love to come out and support the initiative.
    -Rebekah
    4 months ago

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