Youth helping youth in Surrey with Coast Capital funding initiative

SURREY — You’ve got a great idea for a youth-inspired business plan. You’ve put in the time and research to ensure it’s viable. There’s just one problem. You don’t have the money to start it up.

That might not be a problem, according to Zenaida Telfair, one of eight members of the Fraser Valley Leaders Community Council. She and her team help the Surrey-based Coast Capital Credit Union decide where to invest large chunks of money into the community.

The catch? It has to be youth related.

“Coast Capital gives an amount of money that’s allocated back into the community, and that’s why [they’re] so awesome because they actually give back to the people where it’s needed, which I find pretty unique actually,” Telfair told the Now.

The 31-year-old works as a psychiatric nurse by day, and helps out other youth (ages 30 and under) in her spare time.

In 2014, Telfair and her team helped allocate $440,000 in grants from Coast Capital to 33 youth-based programs, including the Surrey Princess Project, Canadian Red Cross Society, Surrey Libraries, Canadian Mental Health Association and others.

How do they decide? It’s all in the diversity of the council, she said.

“The whole point is that have this ‘for youth, by youth’ sort of motto going,” she said.

“Each of us provide a very different perspective, so we get together every quarter, and eight of us sit down… each one of us are from different perspectives. I’m in mental health, another person is in accounting, another is in car sales. You know, we have eight different types of people in here.”

The council goes over proposals, using a scoring and adjudicating process, as well as their own viewpoints on what’s important in the community. The grants are given out on a quarterly basis, allowing new initiatives to be proposed each season.

Telfair said the initiative — which focuses on education, social connections, family and health and financial wellbeing — is important for at-risk youth in the Fraser Valley.

“I went to the Boys and Girls Club and I did all sorts of after-school resource centre things that brought me into the community,” she revealed of her own youth.

“I made lots of friends that way. Some of these programs provide after school educational activities.”

Telfair said she’s been volunteering since her mid-teens, and it has helped her to grow as a person.

“My mom always instilled in me to give back to the community, (she said) ‘You’re a healthy young individual, give back to your community.’”

The Fraser Valley Young Leaders Community Council and Coast Capital helped over 110,000 young people in the Fraser Valley in 2014. The group takes youth model proposals on a quarterly basis.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thomas Dawson Peacock
Surrey man, 32, charged with sexual interference

Incidents alleged to have happened in Surrey and Abbotsford

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
Seven youths from Surrey/White Rock were recognized at Thursday’s SASSY Awards. Top row from left: Joon Sohn, Samuel Albert, Sherry Sandhu and Abbie Dubet; bottom row from left: Amberlee Moore, Kristen Ricord, Anna McNicholl. (Contributed photo)
Seven Surrey/White Rock youth honoured at SASSY Awards

Annual event held virtually this year due to COVID-19 pandemic

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, with another at Sullivan Heights

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Hay bales can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Straw bales used for Halloween decor can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society

Langley animal facility said they are always need in of fresh bedding

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Most Read