Youth Engagement



Introducing young people to the world of co-operatives and a different, more ethical way of doing business, plays a critical role in the future of the co-operative movement. 

It opens many doors for youth both personally and professionally, as every day brings with it new opportunities to learn and develop their skills and their understanding of the world around them. Youth that are aware of and understand co-operatives are also more likely to engage in them throughout their lives and in varying capacities – and to spread the word on the benefits of co-operation! 

Youth engagement often leads to a greater overall sense of connection, ownership and engagement with the co-operatives and the communities in which they reside.

Here at OCA we promote and support youth engagement in co-operatives through two key programs: 

Co-operative Young Leaders (CYL): a series of week-long summer camps that introduce young people aged 14 and 18 years to the basics and principles of co-operation, while developing their communications, team-work and leadership skills.

All 4 Each: Co-ops in the Classroom (A4E): a suite of curriculum resources which introduces high school teachers and their students to the co-operative movement, with the objective of engaging young people in the critical exploration of a variety of sectors - private, non-profit, co-operative, etc. - to help them identify the best fit for their interests and ambitions.

Supporting the co-operative education of youth also has tremendous benefits to your organization. Sponsoring a youth to attend CYL can create engagement opportunities between them and your co-operative such as the potential for:

  • speaking at your AGM and other events
  • becoming future members 
  • joining your board as a youth director
  • interning - and/or future employment

Learn more by visiting the respective program pages, or contact us for more information!