Big Ideas

Meet Connor Halpin, member of ECF’s Young Edmonton Grants Committee

It’s fitting that Connor Halpin supports young people with big ideas — his own passion for community started in his youth.

Halpin, raised in Devon, had involvement in a youth centre that led to a role on the town’s parks, recreation and culture advisory board. When he was nearing graduation, he was introduced to Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) and set his sights on getting involved in the city. 

“I had a feeling that I would be moving to Edmonton,” he recalls. “That was kind of a way to get to know the Edmonton community.”

Which he has: Halpin’s currently attending the University of Alberta in his third year of Civil Engineering, and he’s been on ECF’s Young Edmonton Grants Committee for four years. He helps review and assess proposals submitted to ECF by young people in Edmonton between the ages of 13 and 24.

Halpin’s time on the committee has allowed him to see first-hand the variety of ideas and projects that youth in Edmonton are capable of creating with a bit of support.

“I know applying for a grant sounds very daunting,” he continues. “It sounds very much like applying for a scholarship […] but it’s really a great opportunity to get to be a part of your community through getting support.”

Halpin’s found that most successful applications have put as much energy into the application — explaining the idea, and its execution, with detail and clarity — as they did into the initial idea.

While some might not expect such community-focused projects to be coming from young people in the city, Halpin’s been consistently impressed with the proposals that come his way.

“I really enjoy being able to see the kinds of projects that the youth in Edmonton create, to see the ideas that young minds put forward, and what they’re wanting to do in the world,” he says. “It always goes a lot farther than themselves and their friends. It goes far into the community.”