Nation Cheong is the Director, Youth Initiatives, at the United Way Toronto. For the past 17 years Nation has dedicated his professional and personal time to supporting young people in communities across Toronto. He has held many roles throughout his career that have all had social, emotional, cultural and spiritual impact. He is a community animator and developer, artist, drummer, teacher, and social change agent.
Nation is a considerate person who makes decisions from a balanced and mindful place. He is insightful and regarded for his commitment to social justice and lauded for his tireless devotion to issues of equity. Nation's longstanding efforts on behalf of youth; his interest in access and his depth of awareness make him invaluable to initiatives aimed at naming and alleviating marginalization.
Since 2006, Nation has helped to lead the Youth Challenge Fund (YCF), a 46.6 million dollar investment in youth led/ youth driven initiatives across Toronto’s inner suburban communities. The work has centered around the needs of the city’s most underserved youth and stands on four key pillars- Youth led/ youth driven, collaborative, indigenous to community and engendering systemic change. In his new role as the United Way’s Director of Youth Initiatives he oversees the Youth Challenge Fund Legacy initiatives while supporting the development and implementation of United Way’s Youth Success Strategy.
Nation has volunteered for many arts organizations in Toronto and is currently the Board Chair for the AMY project.
Currently, Nation is pursuing certification in psychotherapy with the intention of providing greater access to mental health supports for the Afro-Diasporic and other racialized communities.
The mission of the United Way's Youth Challenge Fund is to achieve a lasting improvement in the lives of youth by mobilizing community resources, investing in effective programs, and promoting a sustained and coordinated response to youth development and violence prevention in Toronto.