Pathways to Education launches new program in west-end Ottawa



    Pinecrest-Queensway Health and Community Services on track to deliver
    program designed to support high school students in low income
    communities

    OTTAWA, Ontario, Jan. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Pathways to Education Canada,
Pinecrest-Queensway Health and Community Services, Ontario Trillium Foundation
and Bell Canada representatives were joined today by Provincial Minister of
Municipal Affairs and Housing, Jim Watson (Ottawa West-Nepean) to announce the
launch of the Pathways program located in the Pinecrest-Queensway area of
west-end Ottawa.
    The Pathways to Education program provides support to youth in low income
neighbourhoods to succeed in high school and pursue post-secondary education.
The Ottawa program will be run by Pinecrest-Queensway Health and Community
Services who have a well established track record working with low income
communities.
    "Our organization has worked for many years to help provide the
Pinecrest-Queensway community with the advantages available to other
communities." said Wanda Macdonald, Executive Director of the
Pinecrest-Queensway Health and Community Services. "Pathways to Education is
an amazing initiative providing a huge benefit to our most important asset -
our children and youth. We could not be happier that the Pathways program is
now in place here in west-end Ottawa."
    The Pathways to Education program was first launched in Toronto's Regent
Park area in 2001. Since its creation, the program has helped lower dropout
rates in this area from 56% to 10% in addition to contributing to a 60%
decrease in youth with serious attendance problems.
    "I'm thrilled to see the implementation of the Pathways program in
Ottawa," said Carolyn Acker, Executive Director of Pathways to Education
Canada, also speaking at today's event. "I know that Pinecrest-Queensway
Health and Community Services will do an excellent job delivering this program
to the community it already serves so well."
    The successful expansion of the Pathways program is due in large part to
support from generous contributors, like Bell Canada, Pathways' largest
corporate donor.
    "Bell has been a proud supporter of the Pathways Project for several
years," said Sal Iacono, Senior Vice-President at Bell. "We worked with the
Pathways Development Committee to help insure that the program would be
replicated in other communities and are delighted to announce today our
continued support with a contribution of $1.5 million. This money will help
hundreds of young people in communities across Canada increase their chances
of obtaining a high school diploma and post-secondary education."
    The Pathways to Education Program's mandate is to reduce poverty and its
effects by supporting the educational attainment of youth from economically
disadvantaged communities. Its goal is to help young people graduate from high
school and move on to post-secondary educational programs.
    Recognizing the program's potential for continued growth and success the
Province of Ontario recently committed $19 million over four years in support
of Pathways programs throughout Ontario.
    "Ensuring a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all Ontarians
begins with the opportunities we provide to our youth," said Minister Watson.
"The $19 million that we have committed to Pathways to Education will go a
long way towards making sure that these opportunities exist for all of
Ontario's kids."

    The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), one of the founding funders of the
Pathways Program, was also recognized for their $135,000 contribution to the
Ottawa Pathways to Education Program. OTF also provided funding to help in the
development and initial implementation of the Pathways Program in Regent Park.
In addition, OTF recognized this important program with their Chair's Award in
2002 and their 25th Anniversary Award in 2007.
    Pathways to Education now operates in six communities, with programs in
Toronto (Regent Park, Lawrence Heights, and Jamestown), as well as Kitchener,
Ottawa and Montreal.




For further information:

For further information: Dawn Lyons, Program Manager, Pathways to
Education-Ottawa, Pinecrest-Queensway Health and Community Services, (613)
820-4922, d.lyons@pqhcs.com; Matthew Airhart, National Director of Development
and Communications, Pathways to Education Canada, (416) 860-3707,
mairhart@pathwayscanada.ca; Jacqueline Michelis, Media Relations, Bell Canada,
(613) 785-1427, 1 888 482-0809, jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca

Organization Profile

PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION

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PINECREST-QUEENSWAY HEALTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES

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