Adventure 4 Change Model: Investing in Communities Left Behind 

This SDG story was developed in collaboration with students in the MGMT 3500 Design Thinking course in the Department of Management at the University of Guelph. For this project students were partnered with a community organization or business to support their SDG storytelling efforts, using design thinking as a primary tool. You can learn more about the student project, and the connections between design thinking and SDG storytelling here. SDG Cities would like to extend deep gratitude to the community partners and to the students who crafted compelling stories to help us share SDG impact from our community. Thanks also go out to Dr. Elizabeth Kurscz, who has been a wonderful collaborator helping to connect students with SDG work happening in their community!

Adventure 4 Change (A4C) is a vibrant neighbourhood hub in Waterloo, where skills are developed and neighbourhood connections are fostered. Active in the community for many years, A4C remains committed to supporting communities of new immigrants, refugees and other marginalized groups that are often left behind when it comes to programming and resources in their neighbourhoods. The A4C team shared this vision at a recent pitch competition for SVP Waterloo Region. In response to their pitch, audience members reflected that they weren’t even aware of the needs of these populations in their community. For the team – this solidified the value of their work even more. 

Photo courtesy of Adventure 4 Change.

Executive Director, Oluseun Olayinka leads a team of staff and volunteers dedicated to supporting their community and building a sustainable organization. Since assuming the role over 2 years ago, Oluseun has placed strategic planning and impact at the forefront of her work.

The A4C approach to programming, community support and capacity building highlights the significance of empowerment, working to provide individuals with resources to cultivate confidence to achieve a better future. A4C is committed to a community-rooted and led, prevention-oriented approach to community development that helps individuals reach their full potential.

A4C’s monthly program calendar is packed with fun and community led and focused activities. Some popular offerings include the Young Queens Collective, a program for young black and racialized girls (grades 8-12) that creates safe spaces for them to connect and get inspired. This program helps build confidence and connection where young black and racialized girls can express themselves, explore their diverse identities, and develop transferable life skills through workshops, community outings and mentorship opportunities. The success of this program led to development of Young Princesses – a similar program focused on girls grades 5-7. 

A4C also provides family-focused programming, including the Coffee and Conversation program, which engages participants in interesting topics to foster a sense of belonging. Additionally, English Conversation Circles, Sewing classes and sports sessions provide a variety of opportunities for everyone to get involved.

Photo courtesy of Adventure 4 Change.

Adventure 4 Change’s Impact

Engaging the most vulnerable community members in their community, including refugees and new immigrants, A4C works to create a sense of community, and provide access to resources to those who need it. Most of these activities take place at the Neighbourhood Hub, a fully accessible space for all members of the local communities, including youth, their families, and people of all ages. The Hub provides a place for individuals to shape their own journey and be part of something bigger.

Connection to the SDGs 

As Executive Director, Oluseun has taken time to deepen her own learning about the SDGs, as part of developing a strategic plan and long-term vision for the organization. Oluseun describes A4C mission alignment to the SDGs highlighting connections to SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. 

Over several months of organizational learning and in preparation for the Perfect Pitch program, the A4C team has galvanized around these impact goals – incorporating them into their internal work, as well as their outward communications. 

The programming and resource offerings from A4C have been designed to empower community members with a focus on youth, and families. While recognizing alignment across several SDGs, Oluseun believes that while they have focused impact across these four goals, A4C’s work is primarily focused on reducing inequalities. 

The vision of A4C is rooted in the capacity of the community, when equipped with the right skills, resources and supportive atmosphere, can transform themselves. By actively reducing inequalities faced by newcomers, and other marginalized communities, A4C is seeing the impacts as the people they engage develop deeper self-agency, resilience, hope, and confidence.

Photo courtesy of Adventure 4 Change.


What sets A4C apart is its unwavering commitment to supporting often overlooked neighbourhoods and individuals within Waterloo. A4C is a place where individuals and communities can build resilience and create positive change for their futures and the future of their community. A4C recently launched a brand refresh to help solidify recognition of their impacts within the community and beyond. 

To learn more about A4C’s work, check out its website for more information: