The Kimberley Youth Action Network (KYAN) is requesting that the City of Kimberley become their legal entity in order to continue to operate.
Lori Joe, Youth Coordinator for the Summit Community Services Society presented to City Council on Monday, alongside Mike Kent, Regional Coordinator for the Basin Youth Network, to explain KYAN’s role in the community.
“The Kimberley Youth Action Network is a part of the larger Columbia Basin Youth Network,” explained Joe. “As a local network we are committed to connecting, inspiring and engaging our local youth through active participation. To receive funding from the Trust, it requires a legal entity and we, the KYAN Oversight Committee are reaching out to you [the City] for your consideration to take on this role.”
She adds that KYAN was created six years ago out of the Community Directed Youth Funds. Youth set the priorities based on surveys and ongoing meetings, as well as creating activities, events and initiatives each year. Kimberley youth have also participated in the annual Basin Youth Network Leadership Summits.
“The youth really take charge in this program,” said Joe. “They hosted a leadership summer camp at the SPCA last summer and many have taken their BYN Leadership Journey Certificate and are full STEM Tech Mentors.
“We also teach them job readiness with courses on public speaking and interviewing skills and complete training in different fields.”
There are 28 youth-led networks across the Columbia Basin, all of whom are funded through the Columbia Basin Trust. The Trust has committed to funding the Basin Youth Support Network for the next three years. Joe explained that at least half of the networks in the Basin are ran through their municipalities.
Councillor Nigel Kitto asked what is stopping KYAN from becoming their own legal entity, such as a non-profit organization.
Joe explained that in order to maintain the youth’s best interests, it is preferred that an already established entity, such as the City, take charge. Kent also says that there are costs associated with running a non-profit organization that would be put directly onto KYAN.
“At a minimum, the City’s role would be to review and approve workplaces and reports. Half of the entities within the network are local governments and they all do things differently; it’s not a one-size fits all matter in terms of management,” said Kent.
He adds that if the City were to become KYAN’s legal entity, KYAN would continue to operate in a very similar fashion. CBT would distribute their funds to the City, who would then distribute those funds to KYAN accordingly.
Under the new legal entity, KYAN would continue to provide a coordinator, engage youth and those who work with youth, identify local priorities, encourage collaboration and deliver programs and activities including space and transportation, says Joe.
Councillor Kent Goodwin says that he’s hopeful the City can support KYAN’s request.
“I think it’s great what you’re doing and I’m hopeful we can support this request,” he said before putting forth a motion to have staff review the request, which Council approved.
Councillor Darryl Oakley agreed, saying that KYAN is an incredible resource for the community and hopes that the City will be able to work with them.
The absolute deadline for a decision is June 30, however Kent says the Trust prefers to know by the end of their fiscal year, which is March 31. Council will make their final decision at a subsequent meeting.