Rural Change Makers

Discover the Young Rural Resilient Project as part of the Rural Change Maker program!

Help shape ROI’s youth programming that grows the next generation of emerging leaders in rural Ontario!

The past few years have been quite difficult for many young people, but especially so for rural youth. We have learned much from our Rural Change Makers and discovered the needs of our young people have been profoundly impacted by the Pandemic, particularly youth in rural and remote regions, Indigenous youth and youth with barriers who face uniquely different experiences, opportunities and challenges. 


To bridge youth-identified gaps and serve the diverse needs, hopes and dreams of young people in rural Ontario we are re-tooling our upcoming program for 2023 and undertaking a listening tour to hear from rural youth in Ontario. As part of the Young Rural Resilient Project, community feedback will help inform programming for emerging rural leaders in Ontario.

ROI wants to hear what rural youth have to say. We want to hear what rural youth need. What matters to them. What they hope for. What they love about their communities and how we can wrap opportunities around those aspirations to create spaces for leadership, growth, respect, inclusion, discovery and belonging.

We want to connect with you, which is why this space is dedicated to Young, Resilient, Rural Ontario youth. Celebrating you and learning about your community!


If you have any questions, please reach out to Melanie Bidiuk at

The Rural Ontario Institute will select and prepare up to 30 motivated young adults, between the ages of 19-35, from across Ontario to mobilize action in their community, structured around an identified priority in their region.

 As a group, these leaders will participate in a series of developmental, online training webinars and come together for a face-to-face customized, experiential event, both of which will support them to take action on a challenge/opportunity that they have selected in their community. Additional personalized coaching will take place, as-needed, either in-person, phone or via email.

During the program the Change Makers will organize at least two events: 

  1. A “discovery session” with local stakeholders and community members focusing on an asset-based approach and linking them with allies in their mobilization efforts;
  2. A “community action lab” or event oriented at producing an action plan towards a short-term concrete project that will be the focus of their initial steps in effecting the change they want to see in their community. 

This program will help young adults gain confidence and build their networks to mobilize action with their community. The aim of the new program is to: 

  • Provide professional development for young adults
  • Build rural youth leadership capacity
  • Catalyze impactful rural development outcomes for communities and regions
  • Broaden public engagement in rural development initiatives

Additional Resources


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