What We Do
NYA’s programming serves to enhance student participation and success in education, career development, and community leadership. NYA assists in enabling northern youth to become full participants in the ongoing development of Canada’s north. The NYA program operates three programs – the NYA Canadian Program, NYA Next and the NYA International Program. Each program operates over a ten-month period and is highlighted by a five to six week summer travel placement in southern Canada or Internationally.
In each program:
- Participants complete a rigorous set of assignments designed to build their cross-cultural awareness, leadership skills, and self-confidence. The bulk of assignments are completed in the winter and spring in order to prepare the youth for their summer placements, but participants are required to complete assignments throughout the summer and upon their return home as well to help them achieve the best experience possible and maintain their momentum and progress after the travel component of the program. The assignments are designed in such a way so as to help the participants achieve success, reach their highest potential and ultimately lead fulfilled and prosperous lives.
- Participants work with a Mentor in their home community to assist them with their preparations and assignments. Beyond assistance with program requirements, Mentors serve as role models for Participants, offering support, encouragement, advice and keeping them focused on their goals. Mentors are a crucial element to NYA’s success as they are leading community members who have existing personal relationships with participants.
- Participants travel to a host community within Canada or internationally in order to mature and gain practical skills through leaving their comfort zone and facing new challenges head on. Participants achieve remarkable personal growth through living away from home and experiencing what life has to offer in their host communities. Participants gain an expanded world view, a plethora of new experiences and ultimately return home with more confidence, independence, leadership skills, occupational knowledge and ambition. They are presented with new perspectives and made aware of the opportunities that are available for them.
- Participants spend roughly 175 hours developing occupational interests while on a five week volunteer work placement. The skills, confidence, and leadership developed while on placement help direct the aspirations, abilities, careers and futures of Participants and are ultimately transferred back into the workforce in the north. Every attempt is made to ensure that work placements occur in a field that matches or complements Participants’ identified career interests.
- Participants are able to earn 9 high school credits for each program (18 credits total), which brings many participants closer to graduation. NYA’s emphasis on education can reinvigorate in Participants a desire to thrive academically. This new passion for education can motivate youth who previously had little ambition or desire to complete their high school education to do so, and potentially even attend a post-secondary learning institution.