Innovative teen career and education planning workshop goes to school

    Pretty River Academy becomes first school in Ontario to run the program

    TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Pretty River Academy in Collingwood is the first
Ontario school to implement an innovative career and education planning
workshop called iQuest that helps students make informed decisions about what
to do next after high school.
    Increasingly high school students are asked to make career path choices
and decide whether to attend university, college, vocational schools,
apprenticeship programs, or go directly into the workforce. That can be
difficult without knowing all the options. iQuest helps teens bring their
future into focus and is designed to augment the career planning curriculum
delivered in grade 10 across Ontario.
    "We feel it's important that students are as fully informed as possible
when making decisions about what to do after high school," says Pretty River
Academy founder and principal Roberta Hirst. "iQuest builds upon our own
curriculum, teaches students about themselves and the working world, and gives
each student a tailored list of career and education options."
    The iQuest program will be presented to all high school students at
Pretty River Academy over two full days on October 1 and 2, 2007. The program,
delivered by iQuest instructors, is highly interactive and includes
personality testing and exercises that teach teens the vital skills needed to
make career decisions based on identifying their personality traits,
predispositions, preferred lifestyles and career or job interests.
    "It's challenging for teachers to keep up with the latest work trends,"
says Hirst. "Given that textbooks are out-of-date within three years, it makes
sense to bring in experts who stay current with the latest trends. Gone are
the days when today's students will have just one career. This program also
teaches students the essential skill of how to create a detailed educational
and career plan in an increasingly complex world."
    Pretty River Academy has brought in experts from different fields within
the community, including the arts and sports, and places a particular focus on
its students doing volunteer work. Hirst believes that specialized training
not only allows students to stay current, it also raises their involvement and
appreciation of the material taught.
    "We're delighted to work with Pretty River Academy, which has a
well-established reputation for excellence," says Gail Rieschi, CEO and
president of vpi Inc., who created iQuest after many requests from parents to
help their teens make informed education and career planning decisions. "Young
Canadians have very limited access to career development services to help them
choose paths to a successful working life and iQuest helps to fill that gap."
    Pretty River Academy is a charitable, non-profit, independent school,
audited and accredited by the Ministry of Education, and the Canadian
Educational Standards Institute that services the Georgian Triangle, spanning
all grades from junior kindergarten to grade 12.

    About vpi Inc.

    Since 1988, vpi has been a leader in employment facilitation services
with a comprehensive range of results-focused solutions to maximize employee
productivity, manage disability claims and assist individuals find employment.
It is one of the fastest expanding companies of its kind with 32 offices, and
more than 180 full-time skilled experienced professionals across Ontario. vpi
has a long history of success helping youth with education and career
planning, providing employment assistance for young adults ages 16-30, and
offers learning or psycho-educational assessments for children falling behind
in school. For more information, please visit and

For further information:

For further information: Josh Turner for vpi Inc., Trillium Corporate
Communications, (416) 322-3030 x 232,; Mark Kristofic for
Pretty River Academy, (705) 333-8840,

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