Stittsville’s Jesse Card becomes Acting Executive Director of Youth Ottawa

While the ongoing pandemic has undoubtedly had a lasting negative impact on a multitude of things, Stittsville resident Jesse Card has seen some positives with it. Namely, Jesse has been able to spend lots of time with his son, born last February, and make the most of his new role as a father.

That’s not the only new role Jesse has undertaken recently. On March 22nd, Jesse was appointed as the Acting Executive Director at Youth Ottawa. Jesse took over after Ian Bingeman, the former Executive Director, left the organization.

Youth Ottawa is a not-for-profit charity which believes all youth can spark extraordinary change by utilizing their creativity and potential. Youth Ottawa believes in “empowering youth by investing in them, giving them trust, opportunities, and resources so they can build skills that they can show the world.” The organization’s goal is ultimately to help youth succeed.

Jesse began working with Youth Ottawa in February 2018. His roles with the organization have included leading one of their key programs (Youth Active Media), helping to develop their collaborating social enterprise (Hot Shoe Productions) with Social Planning Council, and working with Youth Ottawa’s board to develop renewed strategies for the operation of their organization. “If you want to accomplish anything great, meaningful and lasting; it requires investment and a solid team to help you achieve it.”

In his new role as Executive Director of Youth Ottawa, Jesse will oversee the organization in its entirety. Strategic planning, working with the Board of Directors, supervising the operations and staff, and working with the financial systems are the main things he is now in charge of. Jesse recognizes that he has “a lot of responsibility, however, there has never been a greater need; arguably, to support youth in our community and it excites me to serve during this period.”

In addition to his work at Youth Ottawa, Jesse has a video production company, House Edge Media, as well as a Youth Sports Network and Social Enterprise, House Edge Sports Network (HESN), which provides youth with freelance videography and photography work. Due to the pandemic causing cancellations of live musical performances and sports activities, both organizations have been greatly impacted.

Therefore, Jesse’s focus has shifted solely towards Youth Ottawa and helping the charity to navigate through the consequences of the pandemic. “Fortunately, my new role will involve connecting with businesses, community organizations and the City of Ottawa to build collective solutions to support youth as they emerge from the pandemic.” The current focus of Jesse’s work over the last two years has been in designing and growing Youth Ottawa’s impact in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) by providing a variety of experiential learning programs in areas such as filmmaking, entrepreneurism, active citizenship, and innovation around equity concerns.

When it’s safe to do so, Jesse also looks forward to once again coaching football in the community. He was previously involved with the National Capital Amateur Football Association.

Jesse would love to see the community become more involved with Youth Ottawa. “As I step into this new role, I am looking to speak to Business Leaders, Community Leaders and members of the general population that want to help make an impact in the Youth Sector in Ottawa. Please reach out to me at jesse.card@youthottawa.ca to have a conversation about Sponsorships, Donating, or becoming an employment partner with Youth Ottawa.”


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