Vivian Prokop appointed Chief Executive Officer of Pathways to Education Canada

Distinguished youth advocate and former banker sets her sights on building a Graduation Nation

TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The board of directors of Pathways to Education Canada, an organization that is reducing high school dropout rates in low-income communities, is pleased to announce the appointment of Vivian Prokop as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ms. Prokop, who spent the past 10 years as CEO of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), is a passionate advocate for young people and has earned an international reputation as an authority in developing programs that unleash the potential of youth in Canada and abroad.

"Vivian has a terrific track record of providing youth with the skills and encouragement that inspire them to thrive and to become leaders in their communities," says Samuel Duboc, chairman of Pathways to Education Canada. "Her knowledge and experience is perfectly tailored to our objective of helping thousands of youth in low-income Canadian communities embrace education and excel in their lives."

During her 10-year tenure, Ms. Prokop grew CYBF by 1,200 per cent, raising more than $100 million to develop and implement a suite of world-class programs such as one-on-one mentoring and access to seed capital, supporting the launch of 5,000 youth-led businesses and the creation of 20,000 jobs. She also represented Canada in more than a dozen international summits and was the founding chair of the G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance. Prior to entering the not-for-profit sector, she spent 17 years in the banking industry, including leading CIBC's small business strategy unit.

Pathways works one-on-one with youth, many from single-parent households or new immigrant families, to provide the encouragement, mentoring and financial support that others can take for granted. With programs in 13 communities and growing, the ultimate goal is to build a Graduation Nation, one where young people reach their potential and help their families, communities and country prosper.

"To succeed in life, we all need people who believe in us, role models and mentors who give us the support and confidence we need to do great things," says Ms. Prokop. "For many young people living in low-income communities, they rely on Pathways for this support. Our programs are delivering proven results, but we must continue investing in our youth. Our future depends on it."

Ms. Prokop's contribution to youth development in Canada and abroad has earned her numerous awards, including the 2013 Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and the prestigious WXN Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She is a board member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Foundation, The Empire Club of Canada and is on the Advisory Board of Young Diplomats.

About Pathways to Education Canada -
Pathways to Education Canada is a charitable organization that helps youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education or training. The Pathways program addresses systemic barriers to education by providing academic, social and financial supports proven to lower dropout rates. Founded in 2001, Pathways operates in 13 communities across Canada, with programs in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

The first Canadian organization to be recognized with the World Innovation Summit for Education Award (WISE) for its innovative and effective work in education, Pathways plans to expand nationally and leverage its knowledge to serve more students across the country.

SOURCE: Pathways to Education Canada

For further information:

Sarah Ridley, Citizen Optimum, 416.967.8120,

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