Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society is launching the next round of their Surrey youth volunteering program on November 23, and there’s still time for interested people to register. PICS started SIYSCorps under the Canada Service Corps initiative launched by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in January 2018.
Surrey Intercultural Youth Service Corps Program (SIYSCorps) is a free 17-week program that promotes civic engagement among youth while providing them with career skills.
The program is looking for a diverse group of motivated youth to become active community ambassadors and is open to people aged 15-30 who are Surrey residents and Canadian citizens, permanent residents or people with refugee status.
Individuals encouraged to apply include single parents or persons with low income, self-identified as disabled, person(s) with multiple barriers, Indigenous, and LGBTQ2.
“We provide youth volunteering placement of their choice so that they can gain valuable experience, identify educational needs, create community connections and develop their dream career,” said PICS to Daily Hive.
“The participants have an opportunity to design their own, completely funded community service project to make a positive impact in the community.”
SIYSCorps participants attend six weeks of training where they learn skills like public speaking and workplace integration. They also receive extensive job search support with resume, cover letter and interview skills. Guest speakers with a variety of backgrounds will also share their expertise during each cohort. These may include social media strategy, mental health awareness and resources, financial literacy, and more.
After participants complete their skills training, they have 11 weeks to finish their volunteering experience. They can either do a volunteer placement of their choice or receive a grant of $1,500 and design their own community-based project. Participants receive a minimum of 120 volunteering hours on completion of training and volunteering experience.
PICS has transitioned the program to an online format where all trainings are provided virtually. While adhering to COVID policies, the society aims to provide virtual volunteer placements and work closely with participants to design virtual projects. They will also provide in-person support to participants who do not have access to technology.
SIYSCorps has had over 200 participants in its history, with 34 community-based projects finished and accomplished so far.
PICS is a registered non-profit organization that has been serving the community since 1987. The society provides a variety of programs and services including employment programs, settlement services, language services, social programs and housing services. Their services assist new immigrants, seniors, farmworkers, women and youth.
Registration for the program can be done over the phone at 604.596.7722 ext 301 or by emailing [email protected] New cohorts start every month and the next one begins on November 23. Visit pics.bc.ca for more information.