I Was PROUD to Lead one of the BEST National Internship Programs

And the credit goes to the team!  As a National Project Manager for one of Canada’s largest charities, I led the most successful National Internship Program ever – Dan Trepanier.

Our efforts translated into collaborating and coaching 100’s of staff and volunteers. Guiding 13,000 Interns, 7,451 Mentors in 787 Canadian Cities, Towns, Villages, 90 Ministries, Crown Corporations, Agencies totalling $163 million in Government Funding over 14 Years — WHEW that’s a mouth full of impressive stats! 

It wasn’t easy, and we had our fair share of ups and downs!

Much of the credit to our success goes to the talented collaborators across Canada, the Interns and their Mentors. 

The Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program (FPSYIP), through our collaborations, has emerged as one of the most successful YMCA National Programs ever, with over 4 out of 5 participants using the paid internship program to either find gainful employment within (or beyond) Government Service or as a springboard to pursuing higher education. 

So proud to have played a leadership role in this impactful initiative — Dan Trepanier 

That translates to over 13,000 Canadian youth over 13 years since 1997, all under 30, most of whom were non-grads, many of whom represent significantly underserved Canadian minorities, social service recipients, members of First Nations, Francophone’s and more. 

Canadian people, all paired with more than 7,450 mentors and dozens upon dozens of YMCA facilitators and guest speakers spanning the entirety of our Provinces and Territories.

  • 13,000 Canadian Youth
  • 7,451 Mentors
  • 100’s YMCA Staff, Volunteers
  • 787 Canadian Cities, Towns, Villages
  • 90 Ministries, Crown Corporations, Agencies
  • $163,000,000 Government Funding in 14 Years


We aimed to offer a safe, supportive environment where young people can learn valuable life skills, employability skills, career planning, and develop their sense of self.

The Program benefited the groups of young people who need it most and have the highest unemployment rate. 

The Program set 50% of the internships for youth who have not completed high school (NG – Non-Graduate Interns) or face multiple barriers to employment, 30% for high school graduates (HS- High School Graduate Interns) and 20% for youth who have graduated from College or University (PSG – Post Secondary Graduate Interns).

I dedicated over two decades with an organization with a commitment to youth that, to this day, is well-known, from their earliest days in Canada over 160 years ago to today. Creating with others to make youth development one of our highest priorities was an honour. 

Within this Program, we did much more than help a young person find a job and return to school. We offered a safe, supportive environment where young people learned valuable life skills, employability skills, career planning, and developed their sense of self. We had an excellent track record of training tomorrow’s leaders in a culture of peace and social inclusion.

Sponsored by the Federal Government

Delivered in partnership with the YMCA, the Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program (FPSYIP) placed interns in host federal government organizations and agencies. I was the National Project Manager. 

The Government of Canada valued FPSYIP and the YMCA from both a policy and operations perspective. Repeatedly we heard of how ‘reliable a delivery partner we are and how accountable/transparent the Program was. — Dan Trepanier, National Manager

When we collaborate, we add value, impress with the strategic planning we do, our infrastructure nation-wide is exemplary, and the thought work we do in youth work, planning and evaluation is superior. In 2011 the federal government completed the first wave of its strategic review of all their funded programs. 

In July 2011, FPSYIP had been declared a big success; the government believes that it has met all of its objectives, and accordingly, the Program begin a wind-down process, with a final program closure date of March 2013.

The federal government representatives who shared this information with us emphasized how valuable a YMCA partner in Canada has proven to be in delivering effective, efficient, and successful programming.

They were most impressed with the outcomes of the Program, noting that it is one of the longest-running employment program funding contracts they have ever had.

The 20-month notification period represented just how important the federal government perceives the longstanding partnership with the YMCA and great respect for our staff members.

Our ability to deliver this Program so successfully directly impacted the federal government’s decision to partner with the YMCA to offer two short-term youth internship programs focused on the environmental and non-profit sectors in 2009 and 2010.

My story ends here, abruptly. What happened next? 

PM me and ask? 

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