YMCA Newcomer Youth Programming

The YMCA has been a provider of settle services to newcomers since 1985 and has expanded to offer a broad spectrum of programs and services to immigrants and newcomers in Waterloo Region.

Newcomer Youth Boy

  • In 2000, the YMCA recognized the gap in addressing the needs of newcomer youth and developed Newcomer Youth programming and established Settlement Workers in Schools.
  • Funded by the YMCA, granters, and donors.
  • YMCA Newcomer Youth programs have served more than 4000 youth ages 6-17 years.
  • Programs are delivered in Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo.

YMCA Newcomer Youth Programming

Belonging is the Beginning: For youth new to Canada, fear and loneliness are everyday feelings.  Recognizing an authentic sense of belonging takes time through experiences and connections. The Newcomer Youth programming empowers youth who have recently arrived in Canada, with the knowledge and tools to successfully integrate and settle into Canadian socity.

Newcomer Youth Program (since 2000)

The program breaks down cultural barriers offering a safe place to have fun, make friends, and share ideas and experiences with other immigrant youth while exploring a new community and is currently delivered in YMCA Health Fitness Aquatic facilities.

Girls smiling

Newcomer Theatre Project (since 2008)

A forum for immigrant students to creatively express their voice and allow them to communicate their experiences and aspirations through theatre. The following schools are involved in the delivery of the program - Waterloo CI, Eastwood CI, Glat CI, Forest Heights, and St. Mary's.

Newcomer Orientation Week, known as the NOW program (since 2009)

Offered the last two weeks of summer, this program supports high school students with orientation to school, tips for success, and an opportunity to make new friends through a Peer Mentorship model. The following ELL magnet schools are involved in the delivery of the program - Waterloo CI, Eastwood CI, Galt CI, Forest Heights, and St. Mary's.

Newcomer Youth Pathway to Belonging (since 2015)

Through the support of the KW Community Foundation, this two year initiative is designed to empower newcomer youth by creating a strategic, coordinated pathway to grow as individuals and feel a sense of belonging that ultimately allows them to see the value of their contribution to the community. Contact the Community Development Specialist for more information.