Rural Change Makers

Thanks for dropping by to learn more about Rural Change Makers!

The Rural Ontario Institute's Rural Change Makers program prepares young adults to mobilize action for their community. Up to 30 motivated young adults are selected by application to join the experience. These leaders participate in a series of developmental training webinars together online and come together for a face-to-face customized experiential event.

During the program, each Change Maker is coached to mobilize action with others in their region on a specific project or event that addresses an issue or opportunity identified by residents in their community as a priority. Additional personalized coaching will take place, as needed, either in-person, by phone, or via email.

As the Change Makers are being prepared they 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 helps young adults gain confidence and build their networks to mobilize action with their community. The aim of the new program is to: 

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

Due to funding provided by the Ontario Government and generous sponsors, participants selected for the program will receive at no cost to them:

  • instructional learning via webinars on Community Development;
  • certification from Campus for Communities of the Future upon successful completion of the program;
  • the opportunity to join other Rural Change Makers at a two-day workshop to prepare you to lead your community while tackling a priority;
  • coaching support throughout your journey.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Vicki at

Please visit our 2020 Change Makers participants' page to meet last year's cohort.

To hear more details about this program please listen to this informational webinar.

Here's Rachel's story of being a  Municipal Youth Engagement Intern in Perth County

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