The YMCA of Greater Saint John and the Department of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour have partnered to help develop the talent pipeline and support the leaders of tomorrow in Southeastern New Brunswick through a youth employability program – Y IGNITE.

What is Y IGNITE?

Y IGNITE is a cohort-based employment program that will provide youth with the opportunity to learn transferrable skills, gain valuable work experience and build their professional network. Each cohort is 10 – 12 weeks long. The Y IGNITE program covers three different parts:

  • Job Placement: Each program participant will spend 4 days each week in job placement in a department of the YMCA to allow them to explore their career and provide a headstart. Potential placements include working in Child Care, Facilities, Finance, Outdoor Education and Camping, Membership, Marketing, Fitness and Recreation or Newcomer Connections.
  • Employment Workshops:  Program participants will spend one day a week in paid employment workshops facilitated by the Youth Employment Coordinator and guest speakers from the community. Workshops will focus on financial literacy, resume and cover letter development, building confidence in public speaking and a variety of YMCA staff training.
  • Mentorship:  Each program participant will be matched with a young professional in the Saint John Area who will be their mentor throughout the program. Through biweekly meetings, mentors will provide program participants with guidance, career advice and community connections.

Participants will go through a development journey that includes on-the-job training, one-on-one mentorship, and weekly professional development courses – containing a range of topics from financial literacy, to professional etiquette, and confidence-building workshops.

Who is Y IGNITE for?

Y IGNITE has been created for youth between the ages of 15 – 29. Our summer cohort is reserved for high school youth, while our fall and winter cohorts are geared towards youth not currently enrolled in full-time education or available to work full-time hours.

The registrations for the Winter Cohort of Y IGNITE have now closed. Stay tuned for the Spring intake…


“Being able to work with Misty on the fitness floor has easily been the highlight of my summer.
I have always been interested in health and fitness but had never thought about how I might make a career out of it. With her help and guidance, I am now more confident working with our members on their fitness goals and am working on the training needed to become a fitness coach at the Y.”

Avian, Summer 2022 Program Participant

“The workshop that we did about customer service gave me a lot of extra knowledge that I still use at the membership desk today. In the workshop, Craig Wilkins from Envision Saint John, spoke about his years of experience working with customers at the Delta. He taught us all about what I should be paying attention to when I am dealing with members and what extra services I can do to make the members more satisfied with our facilities. It turned out that after that workshop I really started to feel more confident when I am offering the service because I knew that I was doing the right thing and the members would feel happy about the service that they received.”

Richard, Summer 2022 Participant

“The time I have spent with my mentor went really well. We talked about my job placement, a bit about ourselves, and my mentor gave me some helpful advice.”

Sash, Summer 2022 Participant

“My goal from when I first applied for the Y Ignite program is to better understand children and to grow my knowledge upon them and people in general. I was given the chance to further understand them by having a child in my camp who struggles with ADHD and autism. The first day of camp was definitely hard for him to adjust to something new but after observing him and doing my own research, I was able to identify what his triggers were and how I could help him. It was an amazing educational experience and I am beyond grateful for it.”

Kylie, Summer 2022 Participant

For more information, contact

Laura Fraser
l.fraser@saintjohny.ca | 506-349-7865

Funded By

This Program is funded by Working NB