Toronto CEOs Challenged to Help Urban Aboriginal Youth

TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, a group of Toronto-based CEOs and community leaders joined together under the banner of HRH The Prince of Wales to learn about the issues affecting urban aboriginal youth. Visiting Miziwe Biik as well as Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, the group met face to face with aboriginal youth and took part in activities designed to take them outside their comfort zones and confront major issues in their communities.

The program is called The Prince's Seeing is Believing (PSiB) and it was developed by The Prince of Wales over 20 years ago in the United Kingdom where it has enjoyed great success before being brought to Canada.

"This program is about bringing business leaders out from behind their desks and showing them a side to their city they might not normally encounter," said team leader Janice O'Born (CEO of The Printing House Charitable Office). "After learning more about the problems faced by those who live around them, leaders are then challenged to use their positions to help effect real change".

O'Born speaks from experience. After participating in a PSiB visit last January to the Yonge St. Mission and UforChange, she led the creation of an internship program to give troubled youth the chance of a helping hand up. The Prince of Wales later visited those same agencies and spoke to both the leaders and youth who participated. This time around though the focus is squarely on the concerns affecting the growing number of aboriginal young people who call Toronto home.

Participants included The Hon. David Onley (Lieutenant Governor of Ontario), Mandy Shapansky (Xerox Canada), Carol Wilding (Toronto Board of Trade), Noella Milne (Borden Ladner Gervais), Julie Di Lorenzo (Diamante Urban Corp), Michael Bryant (Ishkonigan Consulting), Jessica LeCroy (Bennett Jones), John MacIntyre (Birch Hill Equity Partners), Sam Mizrahi (Mizrahi Design Build) and Senator Linda Frum.

The day finished with a session where all the leaders were asked to discuss what they've learned and come up with ways that they and their organizations can help. The group then resolved to report back to each other in 4 weeks time on those commitments. The Prince's Seeing is Believing is run in partnership with the Toronto based Wellesley Institute and Prince's Charities Canada which is HRH's Canadian charitable office.

SOURCE: Prince's Charities Canada

For further information:

Matthew J. Rowe, Prince's Charities Canada, 613-298-2396,

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Prince's Charities Canada

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