MONTREAL, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The charitable organization Youth
Fusion marked its 5th anniversary today in the company of 200 people,
by announcing a new fashion design program, "Rising Fashion," which
will be launched in high school classrooms, in partnership with ALDO
Group and with the collaboration of LaSalle College. Youth Fusion,
which is dedicated to keeping young people engaged in school, also
seized the opportunity to unveil the results of a study conducted by
the CRIRES university research centre on the impact of Youth Fusion's
initiatives to date. Several leaders attended the event from school
boards, universities, ALDO Group and BMO Financial Group, as well as
100 high school students.
"Youth Fusion and its founder Gabriel Bran Lopez have succeeded in
rallying universities, school boards, schools, teachers and businesses
around a common cause, that of creating initiatives aimed at nurturing
student success in schools and communities where there is a high risk
for dropout," declared L. Jacques Ménard, President of BMO Financial
Group, Quebec, who has chaired Youth Fusion's Board of Directors since
the organization was founded. "We are very pleased to see a
Quebec-based business like ALDO Group embrace this common cause, and we
thank Mr. Aldo Bensadoun and his team for their support," added Ménard.
A $100,000 investment in a creative educational project
Jointly sparked by Youth Fusion and ALDO Group to counter high school
dropout rates, the Rising Fashion program will introduce students to
fashion design through stimulating hands-on activities. With the
guidance of a Youth Fusion project coordinator with expertise in
Fashion Design, students will begin with a sketch, accompanied by a
written description of their original fashion creations. Students works
will be displayed online and submitted to a public vote in March 2014.
Next, participants will have the opportunity to design a clothing item
or fashion accessory that will be modeled and presented at a fashion
show in May.
Rising Fashion was launched on the heels of a pilot project developed
during the 2012-2013 school year in a special education class at the
Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board. ALDO Group has agreed to invest
$100,000 over two years to fund the program's expansion.
"We firmly believe education has the power to help young people reach
their full potential and we are very proud to be a part of Rising
Fashion's launch. Fashion and design have been at the core of ALDO
Group for over 40 years and we are delighted to have this opportunity
to share our passion with today's youth," emphasized Jean-Pierre
Généreux, ALDO Group's Vice-President, Brand and Concept.
The participating schools in 2013-14
In 2013-2014, the Rising Fashion program will be implemented in five
schools or groups of schools: Saint-Henri, Pointe-aux-Trembles,
Cavelier-De Lasalle (Montreal), Mgr-A.-M.-Parent (Saint-Hubert), and,
competing collectively, Boudreau, Vanier and Jean-de-Brébeuf (Quebec
City). Rising Fasion will create a friendly competition within and
between the participating schools, since each of the five candidates
will be required to present three creations.
The program will culminate with the Rising Fashion Gala on May 14 at
LaSalle College, during which the participants will present their
creations before a jury of fashion industry experts. Six prizes will be
awarded after the fashion show, and the members of the winning team
will also be entitled to a full-day internship at ALDO Group's
headquarters. In addition, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will
exhibit the sketches that obtained the most votes from the public.
"We find the work done in collaboration between teachers and Youth
Fusion's coordinators to be truly inspiring. This is the type of
long-term commitment that enables our students to tap into their full
potential," stated Gilles Petitclerc, Chairman of Montreal Hooked on
From 2 to 70 schools in 5 years!
After gaining a foothold in two schools in 2008-2009 with startup
funding provided by Concordia University, Youth Fusion has gone on to
build ties with new partners and learning institutions, including 11
universities. Now, only five years later, the organization works
closely with partners in the education system, and is having a positive
impact on Quebec youth in 70 public schools across the Greater Montreal
Area and Quebec City, in Rimouski and Rouyn-Noranda, as well as in
indigenous Cree and Inuit communities in James Bay and Nunavik. The
latter expansion was supported, in part, by Réunir Réussir (R2).
"Concordia has a history of making education accessible and has always
been a trailblazer. We can only be proud to be the founding partner
university of Youth Fusion's innovative approach to lower dropout
rates, and to see the organization's impact and growth," declared Alan
Shepard, President and Vice-Chancellor of Concordia University.
$8M and 150,000 hours devoted to 10,000 students in 5 years
Youth Fusion's formula is simple, effective and goes beyond mentoring:
Hire university students and recent graduates as project coordinators,
and send them into under-performing schools to implement projects that
engage at-risk youth in learning, both inside and outside the
classroom. The coordinators work between 15 and 25 hours per week in
their designated school throughout the entire school year. Since
2008-2009, Youth Fusion's project coordinators have committed 150,000
hours to working directly with over 10,000 students, and the
organization has mobilized a total of $8M in investments for Quebec's
"The study shows that Youth Fusion's programs, which thoroughly differ
from other dropout prevention programs because of the cooperative work
between teachers and university students, are highly effective.
According to the parties involved, these programs achieve a 95% success
rate in terms of engaging young students in learning. As for the
students, 70% admit the programs have helped them move forward, with
some reporting they are either thinking about their future more than
they used to, are looking forward to obtaining their high school
diploma, are enjoying and attending school more, are thriving in being
part of a team, and are talking to other people or feeling more
self-confident. Also, a 40% drop in deviant behaviour has been observed
by those involved in the programs," confirmed CRIRES' Director, Thérèse
"We are of course highly satisfied with the positive impact our programs
are having on students. Nevertheless, we a have a long way to go before
we reach the 80% graduation rate which Quebec has set as a target for
2020. Which means that we cannot afford inaction or empty gestures.
Those who join the fight must be in it for the long term," stressed
Gabriel Bran Lopez, Founder and Executive Director of Youth Fusion.
Investments of $4M for the 2013-2014 school year
Youth Fusion and its partners will invest no less than $4 million in
2013-2014 to fund long-term activities in 70 schools. Each school
partner receives resources and expertise in one or several of Youth
Fusion's 12 programming areas, which include: Robotics, Multimedia,
Entrepreneurship, Sciences, Music, Performing Arts, Environment and
Sustainability, Academic Engagement, Leadership, Healthy Lifestyle, and
now Fashion Design.
About Youth Fusion
Youth Fusion is an award-winning Canadian charitable organization,
created in Quebec, which establishes innovative partnerships between
disadvantaged schools and universities, in an effort to lower dropout
rates. It does so by creating and implementing yearlong projects that
engage youth in learning, and motivate them to attend school.
SOURCE: Youth Fusion
For further information:
New program's website: www.relevemode.ca