Our Non-Profit Highlight this week is Check Your Head. At HeartPress PR, we love inspiring our readers by celebrating the work of non-profits that are making a difference in their communities.
We spoke with the Executive Director of Check Your Head, Anastasia Gaisenok, to hear about their dedication to the empowerment of youth.
Check Your Head — By Youth, For Youth
Check Your Head is a youth-driven non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC. They provide education, resources, training and support for youth to live as engaged, independent and active citizens within our local and global communities. Their main activities include workshops, training, supporting youth-led actions, and engaging youth volunteers
We are excited to share Check Your Head with you!
Why and when was Check Your Head founded?
Check Your Head started in 1999 by a small group of local young activists who recognized the need to actively involve their peers in charting the future in the increasingly complex world. It all began with a youth conference called “Check Your Head” which focused on global citizenship and local action, named after Beastie Boys album, and continued as a youth-driven organization that uses peer-led approach to engage young people with the most pressing social, economic and environmental issues through workshops, events, and leadership programs.
How did you get involved with Check Your Head?
I was hired to lead the organization in 2015. This work aligns with my personal values and theory of change on all counts, and I feel incredibly honoured to be part of this unique organization.
Check Your Head partnered Vancouver Design Nerds to host a “Democracy Design Jam,” and to create a space for young people to learn and apply design thinking principles to our political system.
What has been your most rewarding moment working for your organization?
My favourite moments are those when I see the impact of our work: when young people who care for people and the planet come to us in search of ways of making things better, and end up finding community, meaning, tools, their own voice and power to build a better world. And I see it happening every day!
How can others contribute to Check Your Head’s work?
Our biggest constraint is financial. We charge a nominal fee for youth-led workshops in schools and offer free programming to diverse youth to keep it accessible for all young people, and at the same time have a limited fundraising capacity. So financial support and capacity building are really the best contributions. We are also in need of support around our IT and online presence needs, marketing and communications. Find out more about how you can support Check Your Head here.
One of Check Your Head’s peer leaders, Dakota, presenting at the Inner City Exchange this year about the organization’s new projects.