Pathways to Education making education a family affair in low-income
TORONTO, June 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Education and graduation are not always hot topics at the dinner table,
particularly in low-income neighbourhoods where the high school dropout
rate can be as high as 70 per cent. Pathways to Education Canada, a
national charity that helps youth who need extra support to graduate,
is making graduation a family affair where parents and siblings openly
discuss school, building an enthusiasm for education that provides
essential ingredients to transform entire communities.
Research shows that youth are more likely to go on to post-secondary if
at least one parent is university educated1. Similarly, having a high school graduate in the family can have a
strong effect on a younger sibling's choice to continue their
education. The presence of a role model at home is especially important
in certain postal codes where dropping out of high school is the norm.
"With the four of us - three brothers and a younger sister -- all part
of Pathways, we work together and make sure we do well at school," says
Ramez Fazelyar, a Grade 10 student in the Pathways to Education program
in Lawrence Heights. "I am not sure how common it is to have kids and
parents aware of every home work assignment and test result, but it
should be. Education has become a central part of our family."
Wares Fazelyar, Ramez's older brother and the oldest of the family's
four children, graduated from the Lawrence Heights Pathways location in
2012. He is in his second year at the University of Toronto and remains
heavily involved in the Pathways alumni program and the Lawrence
Heights community. He's seen how much the program has helped transform
and bring the neighbourhood together, with high school graduation rates
increasing more than 35 per cent from pre-Pathways levels.
"Graduating with your school friends is one thing, but graduating with
friends from your neighbourhood is completely different," says Wares.
"It brings the community together and shows how important it is for
youth to graduate high school and create a sense of pride in the
The Pathways model has a proven record of success at addressing systemic
barriers to education, and has created a legacy of role models within
families and communities. It was recently recognized with an
international World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award, for
its exceptional and innovative work in building the future of
education. Pathways was one of only six not-for-profits -- and the only
Canadian organization -- to be honoured with this prestigious
"Pathways is a wrap-around educational support program that transforms
communities," says Vivian Prokop, President and CEO of Pathways to
Education Canada. "The program recognizes the unique challenges our
students face and provides the skills that youth need to succeed both
in and out of the classroom."
This year, almost 1,000 students across the country are graduating from
the program, including the Kingston, Winnipeg and Halifax locations,
which are all celebrating their first-ever graduating class.
1 From Frenette, Marc (February 2007). Why are youth from lower-income families less likely to attend
university? (Statistics Canada) http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2007295-eng.pdf
About Pathways to Education Canada - www.pathwaystoeducation.ca
Pathways to Education Canada is a charitable organization that helps
youth in low-income communities graduate high school and successfully
transition into post-secondary education or training. Pathways
addresses systemic barriers to education by providing leadership,
expertise and a community-based program proven to lower dropout rates.
Founded in 2001, Pathways operates in 16 communities across Canada,
with programs in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and British
Columbia. Pathways was recently recognized with a 2013 World Innovation
Summit for Education award (WISE) from the Qatar Foundation for its
innovative and effective work in education.
SOURCE: Pathways to Education Canada
For further information:
Sybil Eastman | Citizen Relations | 416.306.6660 | firstname.lastname@example.org