Serve!

Serve!

December 06, 2007 11:21 ET

Serve!: Youth Project to End Violence Wins Award

"Expanding Minds to End Violence", a project of Serve!, wins Mayor's Community Safety Award

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2007) - An ambitious project to the underlying causes of hate-motivated crime created by young people aged 17-24 is a recipient of the City of Toronto's Mayor's Community Safety Award.

"Expanding Minds to End Violence" was a series of workshops on hate-motivated violence and discrimination, developed and implemented by teams of youth in a full-time program of Serve!, an organization that offers experiential learning programs for vulnerable youth.

"This award is an amazing honour for the youth who made this project possible," said Serve! Program Manager Elaine Munro, "the young people spent countless hours researching and developing a resource about hate-motivated violence that could be used by other youth to raise awareness in their community."

"The Mayor's Community Safety Award is testament to the good work of the 'Expanding Minds to End Violence' project," Melanie Stewart, Executive Director of Serve! said, "Serve!'s youth have been leaders in the community as they increased awareness and skills amongst other young people in the City."

The Mayor's Community Safety Awards recognizes and celebrates the contributions of people and groups who work to make their community a safer place to live. Each year, five recipients are recognized for their contribution to improving the safety of Toronto residents. The review committee found the "Expanding Minds" project demonstrated exceptional success in operating an innovative program to meet the identified needs of Toronto residents.

"Expanding Minds to End Violence" was a project of Serve!'s Experience This! program, which saw a group of diverse young people aged 17 to 24 work together on activities that address, confront and prevent discrimination and violence in the community based on race, gender and sexual orientation.

Over a six-month period in 2006, participants engaged in an extensive consultation process with other youth in their community and, from that, put together interactive training workshops for schools and youth organizations to prevent violence among their peers-an educational tool created by youth, for youth. The team then delivered this workshop with other youth in Regent Park, Malvern, Jane-Finch, Flemingdon Park and Rexdale. The workshops have been delivered by a subsequent team of youth over the past year.

The Mayor's Community Safety Awards will be given out at a ceremony at Toronto Police Service Headquarters on December 6.

Established in 1993, Serve! offers experiential learning programs for vulnerable youth aged 13-24 in full-time, after-school and summer components. Serve! engages youth in community involvement so that they can establish personal direction, overcome obstacles, achieve goals and contribute to society. Visit www.servecanada.org to find out more.

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