Agency Profile: Y.A.A.A.C.E.

Y.A.A.A.C.E. (Youth Association for Academics, Athletics and Character Education) is a Second Harvest recipient agency based in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. With a mandate to offer accessible recreational opportunities alongside regimented academic programming, the goal is to engage children and youth – particularly those from poor, racialized communities – in year-round, comprehensive programming and activities.

“Y.A.A.A.C.E. is a safe haven for kids in this community – they don’t have many options here.  They need us to be there for them, to support them, otherwise they’ll just get lost in the system.”

Using a social inclusion framework constructed by frontline workers, educators, researchers, academics and stakeholders vested in children, youth and community, Y.A.A.A.C.E. enables participants to access opportunities, engage in academic activities, build self-confidence and enhance self-identification. The small operations team works with a commendable group of basketball coaches and Toronto District School Board teachers who provide  mentoring opportunities alongside their formal roles.

Since 2015, Second Harvest has been providing almost 18,000 pounds of food to support this agency’s weekend academic tutoring and recreational basketball program, that serves over 200 youth weekly, as well as lunches for its summer camps, through Sodexo Foundation’s Feeding our Future Program.

“Through Second Harvest’s support, we are able to offer attractive programming – for these youth to be here for 2 hours of academic tutoring and 2 hours of basketball on a Saturday, we have to be able to provide a meal.” Marina Nguyen, Administrator, Y.A.A.A.C.E.

To learn more about Y.A.A.A.C.E. and their programs, please click here.

To learn more about the agencies we serve, please click here.