Undercover Superheroes

Featured Member: Michelle Crogie, Project Coordinator, Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative


Many people in our community carry out extraordinary work every day to make Ottawa a great place to work, live, and raise our kids. Police, firefighters and EMTs often come to mind as our local superheroes as they risk their safety daily to keep our communities safe.  Yet, there are many other superheroes whose hard work in our communities is often less recognized, or less apparent; as I finish up my work term with the Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative (OCYI), I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our undercover superheroes - those who work with children and youth in the non-profit sector. These heroes work tirelessly every day to make sure the 206,000 children and youth in Ottawa have the opportunity to grow up great

Frontline Homework Club staff are one great example of people doing extraordinary work in this sector. They offer safe spaces for children to learn, discover and interact with their peers during critical “bell to bell” hours. They work hard both during and outside of program hours to help children reach their full potential.


Homework Club staff are one single branch of the growing, thriving tree that is the non-profit child and youth sector here in Ottawa. Others include staff from playgroups, Children’s Aid Society, community houses, and so many others. The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative (OCYI) is made up of over 80 of these “undercover superhero” organizations. During my work term at OCYI, I had the opportunity to witness first hand their enthusiasm and dedication toward creating, improving and sustaining programs for children and youth in Ottawa. Their work spans the sector, from research and evaluation around key indicators, to the coordination of a Homework Club Community of Practice. I was amazed by the whirlwind of day-to-day activities, and the energy and engagement that went into each new initiative aiming to improve the lives of some of the 206,000 children and youth in the city. Did you know that that is ¼ of Ottawa’s population? It’s a big number to take on, but I am confident that by working together, our child and youth superheroes can reach each and every child. Thank you!!



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