Who We Are

NYA has six full-time staff members, a northern-based Board of Directors, and many dedicated volunteers throughout Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and southern Canada. NYA’s dedicated board of directors contains a strong contingent of well-respected northern educators, and increasingly program alumni, who are able to guide the organization from an experienced perspective.

Since the initial pilot program in 1998, we have successfully supported more than 500 northern youth in defining and achieving their education and career goals. Our alumni boast significantly higher than average high school graduation rates and many have continued their education at Arctic and Aurora Colleges, as well as at colleges and universities across the country.

Participants First

We are an organization that puts the youth we serve at the forefront of everything that we do. We believe in and work by our Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles. We work collaboratively to serve the north, and we never stop pursuing excellence.


Healthy confident youth leaders contributing to vibrant communities and a bright future.


Northern Youth Abroad seeks to foster leadership, cross-cultural awareness, individual career goals, and international citizenship in the youth of the North. The program promotes success in education by providing life-changing experiences through volunteer work and travel.

Guiding Principles

Northern Youth Abroad will:

  • Pursue excellence in experiential-based education for youth living in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • Be a culturally-relevant and welcoming organization where Participants develop a greater awareness and appreciation of their own culture while learning about others.
  • Be supportive of the personal growth of Participants and responsive to the needs of the youth that we serve.
  • Understand and promote the concept that leadership development can have different approaches for different Participants.
  • Serve as an instrument to connect Participants and Alumni, creating a network of confident leaders and volunteers.
  • Take measured risk to select Participants reflecting the diversity of Northern youth and providing them with tailored support.
  • Provide a safe and supportive atmosphere that takes each Participant out of their comfort zone, through travel, and invests in each Participant’s individual growth.
  • Enable Alumni to play a role in every aspect of the organization.
  • Be a northern-focused organization.
  • Promote a culture of friendship and fun.
  • Take a team-based approach to organizational leadership.
  • Strive to create an atmosphere where all stakeholders feel valued, engaged, and connected.
  • Be always collaborative, never competitive.