YMCA of Southwestern New Brunswick

Y Ignite

Learn transferrable skills, gain valuable work experience and build your professional network in a full time program to Ignite Your Potential.

The YMCA of Southwestern New Brunswick 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 Southwestern New Brunswick through a youth employability program – Y IGNITE.

What is Y IGNITE?

Y IGNITE is a cohort-based employment program that will provide participants with the opportunity to learn transferrable skills, gain valuable work experience and build their professional network. Each cohort is 16 weeks long. The Y IGNITE program covers three different parts:

  • Employment Workshops: Program participants will spend eight weeks in employment workshops facilitated by the Youth Employment Coordinator and Workplace Essential Skills program officer from the funder. Workshops will focus on computer skills, goal setting, communication skills, job search, resume and cover letter development, interview preparation, professional writing, time management, and other general leadership and employment training topics.
  • Job Placement: Each program participant will spend eight weeks 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, Outdoor Education and Camping, Membership, Marketing, Fitness and Recreation or Newcomer Connections.
  • Employment Action Plan:  Each program participant will talk with their employment counsellor to set up an employment action plan before and during the program. The counsellor will provide program participants with guidance and career advice through the meetings.

Who is Y IGNITE for?

Y IGNITE has been created for job seekers seeking a new job, starting their career, youth and high school students not currently enrolled in full-time education or available to work full-time hours. Join this development journey to get a boost in your career!

The applications for the next cohort of Y Ignite are now closed. Stay tuned for our fall cohort.


“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

“After joining Y Ignite I quickly realized how lucky I was to be given this opportunity. Being someone who did not graduate high school when I was supposed to and also had a son when I was still a teenager my career options for the future were always very limited in my mind and the minds of others, but not the Y’s. Throughout my time in Y ignite I was given the opportunity to learn skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, I was given opportunity after opportunity to grow, be better and learn new things. Being able to participate in Y Ignite has been a dream come true, and gaining employment after the program ended has been whatever is beyond a dream.”

Lola, Winter 2024 Participant

“The Y-Ignite program felt like something I was looking for so I was very hopeful. I am really grateful for the help and support of my mentors, for breaking me free from the fear of asking questions, for guiding me and for seeing my worth. 

Every one of us, every small deed we do contributes to the community, everyone’s well-being and prosperity. Y gives everyone an incredible opportunity to feel like they belong in this individualistic world.”

Kody, Fall 2023 Participant

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work as a childcare support worker. This is a fun place to work, mostly everyone gets along and works together. I was always learning something new and the kids keep you on your toes. This space has a very welcoming and calm atmosphere. It was fun and exciting to work with such amazing staff and lovely children. Armed with the skills and knowledge we have attained. I can tell we are eager to tackle this next phase, whatever it might be.”

Munira, Fall 2023 Participant

“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

“This experience has been nothing short of transformative, equipping me with invaluable skills and shaping my professional growth. Y Ignite is a program where we were taught leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. It was an environment that really challenged me to think critically and adapt to all sorts of situations. I really appreciate the platform, it has been instrumental in my growth and development.”

Sarah, Winter 2024 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

Contact Us

For more information about the programs, reach out to our Amy Zhao at a.zhao@yswnb.ca or call 506-349-7865

Funded By/Financé par

This Program is funded by Working NB