Back to school brings Jays' help to stay in school

    New program provides funding for at-risk youth working towards high
    school graduation and a successful transition to post-secondary education

    TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - The Jays Care Foundation officially launches
its HOME RUN SCHOLARS program in partnership with PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION with a
pregame presentation this evening prior to the Toronto-Baltimore baseball
game. Special guests this evening include Pathways students and board members
as well as members of the Jays Care Foundation board of directors.
    The new HOME RUN SCHOLARS initiative is an aggressive four-year
commitment totaling $400,000 that will provide scholarship and support to
students from the Pathways program, ensuring students graduate from high
school, and have funds available for post-secondary education with the goal of
eliminating the high school dropout rate and improving opportunities for
at-risk youth to achieve a college, university or trade school education.
    PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION was first created and implemented in Regent Park by
the Regent Park Community Health Centre in 2001. Pathways provides four key
supports to young people from at-risk and/or economically disadvantaged
communities to assist with the successful completion of high school and
continuation to post-secondary programs. They are:

    1.  ACADEMIC: Tutoring in five core subjects, four nights a week
    2.  SOCIAL: Group mentoring for grades 9 and 10, specialty and career
        mentoring for grades 11 and 12
    3.  FINANCIAL: Immediate financial support such as free bus tickets tied
        to attendance and a bursary for post-secondary education (up to
        $4,000 per student in the program)
    4.  ADVOCACY: Student-Parent Support Workers help connect teens, parents,
        school administration, teachers and community agencies

    With the available resources, individuals become more actively engaged in
their career development and strive to overcome any obstacles or barriers to
    "Pathways to Education Canada exemplifies the type of organization that
the Jays Care Foundation aims to partner with in an effort to improve the
lives of at-risk children and youth in our community," said MELINDA ROGERS,
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jays Care Foundation.
    The Jays Care Foundation has provided funding to Pathways to Education
since 2006. The new Home Run Scholars program will serve youth in the Regent
Park, Rexdale and Lawrence Heights communities.
    "The Jays Care Foundation and the Toronto Blue Jays are strong in their
commitment as community leaders in achieving results-driven social change,"
commented CAROLYN ACKER, CEO of Pathways to Education Canada. "Our partnership
will provide further opportunities for youth in low-income communities across

    The JAYS CARE FOUNDATION is working to ensure children in need have the
opportunity to make positive choices in life by providing programs that
support physical activity, education, and life-skill development.

    PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION CANADA is a charitable organization created to help
communities reduce poverty and its effects by lowering the dropout rate and
increasing access to post-secondary education among disadvantaged youth in
Canada. Pathways launched its initial program in Regent Park in Toronto in
2001 and has now expanded with local partners to five additional locations in

    (*)please note, representatives in attendance will be available from
    approximately 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

For further information:

For further information: Toronto Blue Jays Communications Department,
(416) 341-1302/03

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