Supporting at Risk Youth

Comunità Gives Back

For several years, the Italian Day Festival Society has been supporting at-risk youth by way of annual donations to film and theatre programs at Templeton Secondary School in East Vancouver.  In total, we have contributed $7,000 between 2014 to 2018.  This year, our Comunità theme opens the door wider to demonstrate the value and power community has to make things happen and help others.  Our youth is our future, and many teens today face a heightened element of adversity in their lives, who without leadership and support are increasingly at risk.  The belief and efforts behind the umbrella of two youth programs at Templeton Secondary aim to address this issue and are to be commended: East End Boys and Girls Club, respectively run by mentors and teachers, Jimmy Crescenzo and Tanya Zambrano.  In recognition of this commitment and to help meet 2019 program initiatives, as part of this year’s Italian Day event fundraising, we seek to raise an additional $10,000 to donate to the East End Boys and Girls Club via the aid of our Italian Day sponsors and community support.

East End Boys and Girls Club at Templeton Secondary

The East End Boys and Girls Club both work with marginalized youth, ages 13 to 19, whose goals are to provide life skills training through approved curriculum and mentorship programs where members receive

  • weekly leadership classes
  • high school course credits
  • a theatre and film program which helps build self-esteem
  • job entry programs
  • educational and counselling support
  • scholarships and bursaries for post-secondary endeavours
  • programs which run throughout the school year and summer, providing structure and leadership year-round via a skilled group of instructors and mentors
  • mentoring from community members who share their own stories of adversity and resilience

The four key objectives for teen members are to:

  • stay in school
  • stay free of drugs and gangs
  • be people of good character
  • show empathy for those in need through their own good works

Founded by Jimmy Crescenzo, these youth programs are a testament to the community of people involved, who demonstrate strength through hard work, commitment and most importantly, results.

Jim Crescenzo Awards

  • 2017 Motion Picture Production Industry Association Community Builder Award
  • 2016 Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence
  • 2015 Peace Medallion from the YMCA of Greater Vancouver
  • 2015 Award for Faith and Community, City in Focus
  • 2014 Italian-Canadian Man of the Year
  • 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2001 Vancouver School Board Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to Education

The Georgia Straight (2019)

Italian Day 2019: Community heroes Tanya Zambrano and Jim Crescenzo will be feted for their work with at-risk kids

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VANCOUVER. October 19 2017. Alison Moreau, ( C ) who plays Scarlett, during a rehearsal of the production of Girls Like That, Vancouver, October 19 2017.  Gerry Kahrmann  /  PNG staff photo) ( Prov / Sun News ) 00051028A Story by Dana Gee [PNG Merlin Archive]