Connected by 25 is an innovative, cross-sectoral project that addresses the needs of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 in the Central Okanagan vulnerable in their transition to adulthood. Feedback from young people and community stakeholders identified both the need and rationale for the project, and a CAI service innovation grant allowed a two year pilot of Connected by 25 to start in early 2012. The project builds capacity within the community to ensure that young people at risk of falling through the cracks in their transition to adulthood have access to the services they require. It further serves to build capacity in youth themselves by offering the relational, emotional, and material supports they need.
The project incorporates a dedicated part-time community capacity coordinator, who works with community based organizations to enhance collaboration, and identify and address systemic barriers. Concurrently, a full-time youth navigator provides directs supports and assistance to navigate complex systems, build connections and achieve success in their lives.