In 2011 a friend told me about UforChange. A youth arts charity they said, that was looking for a social media intern. After doing a quick online search, I fell in love and was so nervous for my interview. I joined the UforChange family in the middle of Cycle 3, wiggled my way into helping plan Vivacity. Coming from an immigrant family, exploring the arts was not really an option. At 22, I would have never thought that seven years later I would become the Executive Director. However, being part of the UforChange family has provided me with the same mentorship that we provide the youth. Personally, I have learned how to better express myself through the arts and being exposed to such a creative culture has allowed me create a social impact. This adventure of self discovery has allowed me to reach my goal of leading an arts organization. Being the Executive Director of UforChange is my dream come true.
My journey at UforChange has been a rollercoaster of all sorts, but can you guess the one element that has kept me loyal? If you have met me this will be an easy answer, it’s the youth. I have seen many youth come into the program and transform their true passions into a reality. Watching youth join the program, stay engaged as alumni, graduate post-secondary education and find a job in the creative sector is truly a special experience. I want to thank you for donating to UforChange yesterday, today and in the future. So many youth living in our great city of Toronto have a difficult time finding safe and encouraging space to explore their creative passions and make a living off that. Together we can continue to support the future.
*Please Note: All contributions are managed by Canada Donate, where you will receive a Canadian tax Receipt.
At UforChange we offer 8-month programs in Fashion, Film, DJ and photography. The crafting and execution of our Core Arts Programs requires a combination of skills and technical components, including: a selection of well-connected and knowledgeable industry mentors, a creative space where our young people feel comfortable in addition to desktops, DSLR cameras, DJ controllers and Adobe Software in order to execute our courses. Besides our Core Arts Programs, we also offer Workshops in the 6ix, which provides youth unable to commit to our 8-month program with short-term high-impact workshops in a variety of topics such as business in the arts, graphic design, and theatre, among others. Currently, we are seeking funding for our Core Arts Programs and Workshops in the 6ix in addition to introducing a new all female-identifying Graphic and Web Design program.
If you would like to help UforChange fuel the next generation of creatives, please make a donation to our organization via Canada Helps by clicking here.
UforChange serves youth, ages 16-29, from the Regent Park community and the Greater Toronto Area. The vast majority of the young people we serve are from visible minority groups as well as racialized, underserved, and newcomer communities. Unfortunately, visible minorities face multiple challenges such as: poverty, exposure to violence and crime, high risk of substance abuse, family breakdown, social isolation, culture shock and language barriers. These issues are coupled with limited economic and educational opportunities, intercultural tensions, limited social support and racism/discrimination.UforChange works to avoid these barriers from stopping young people achieve their goals and build a career. Since our opening in 2009, we have served 2459 youth, provided 555 internships, graduated 584 students, connected to 122 sector professionals and 665 volunteers involved in the Toronto Art Community.
We measure our success based on the number of youth we serve a year, in comparison to our internal targets, and the impact our programs have on them. According to our third party evaluators, Mendicant Group, UforChange is extremely successful at providing youth with professionally applicable skills and in fostering mentor-mentee relations as well as fostering personal and professional growth through both our Core Arts Programs and workshops. For more information on our achievements, please download our Annual Reports and third party evaluation by the Mendicant Group located here. According to Charity Intelligence, Uforchange Received an (A) Grade for Donor Accountability and its charity report for the website.
Although UforChange does not have an employment, internship or co-op program , as our organization seeks to provide young people with opportunities we offer volunteer, internship and employment opportunities to our program participants based on what is available through our community and industry networks. Currently UforChange has provided 555 internships since it has begun in 2009.
The UforChange Movement was born out of a pilot project within the Wellesley Institute. It’s our mission to mentor youth pursuing their artistic and aspirational passions in an inclusive environment. We operate in the heart of downtown Toronto and runs creative programs for youth 16-29. Our goal is to provide arts programs to youth from disenfranchised communities that don’t have an already existing connection or opportunity to explore the arts as a career choice. We your help, youth explore the arts in an environment that enhances creativity and help the youth to create bonds with their fellow class members and connect to sector professionals through their mentors.
We quantify our impact by calculating the numbers of young people served annually, in the categories below, and comparing these numbers to our annual targets:
Numbers are combined statistics of Cycle 12 and December 2017.
Number of youth receiving ongoing support and services 467
Number of youth graduated from Core Arts program 34
Number of volunteer opportunities created 47
Number of paid and unpaid employment/ internships created 37
In 2015-2016 (year end March 31st, 2016) 86% of our funding was allocated towards program expenses, 11% was spent on management and administration and the remaining 3% was associated to amortization. For more information on our revenues and expenses please download our financial statements under the ‘Impact’.
According to Charity Intelligence, UforChange is a micro-cap charity with total donations and special events fundraising of $106k in F2016. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues and the charity reports no fundraising costs. Per dollar donated to UforChange, $0.89 goes towards its programs, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Funding reserves of $80k can cover only 21% of annual program costs, indicating a funding need.