Budget initiatives will help youth from low-income communities succeed beyond high school
TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, with the launch of the provincial budget, the Government of Ontario has announced new investments in the education of youth from low-income communities by creating the new Ontario Student Grant and expanding the Youth Job Connection program, initiatives that directly support recommendations put forth by Pathways to Education Canada (Pathways).
- The new Ontario Student Grant (OSG), launching in September 2017, will ensure that average tuition will be free for Ontario students with family incomes below $50,000. This new grant will ensure that available financial support is easy to understand, timely, and supports those students with the greatest financial need.
- In addition, the Government is expanding the Youth Job Connection program to focus on 15-18 year olds facing challenging life circumstances who are seeking summer, part-time, and after school employment and who may need support between school and work. We welcome this program expansion, which will be rolled out in 2016 and will benefit youth in Pathways' programs.
These initiatives respond to two key recommendations by Pathways to support access and successful transition to post-secondary education and employment.
- Pathways recommendation highlighted that a limited understanding of the net cost of post-secondary education can dissuade students who would qualify for financial support from otherwise applying. The new Ontario Student Grant will remove the sticker shock of the financial obligations associated with attending post-secondary institutions and add clarity to the available financial supports. This will enable more low-income students in Ontario to pursue post-secondary education.
- Pathways recommendation highlighted the need for better and clearer information for students and parents from low-income communities regarding the wide variety of jobs and the training and/or education required. The new focus on 15-18 year-olds facing challenging life circumstances directly supports this recommendation.
"The Government of Ontario is a valued partner of Pathways to Education," says Sue Gillespie, President and CEO, Pathways to Education Canada. "With their support, we have been able to help thousands of students graduate from high school and successfully transition to post-secondary education and meaningful employment. We are pleased to see our recommendations reflected in the budget, and that the government will be further investing in the success of youth from low-income communities."
Pathways is a national organization working in low-income communities across Canada to break the cycle of poverty through education. By providing an award-winning combination of supports, Pathways addresses the barriers that can stand in the way of educational success and a brighter future. The
Pathways to Education Program™ (Pathways Program) helps youth from low-income communities graduate from high school and make the often difficult transition into post-secondary education or meaningful employment.
We are proud to work with the Government of Ontario – a longstanding partner of Pathways – whose vital support of the Pathways Program helps to reduce the barriers that at-risk youth face, and we applaud the Government of Ontario for the progress they have made in easing the transition from high school to the workplace.
"We are excited to hear that the Ontario Government is providing additional support to low-income youth," says Aaron House, Director, Post-Secondary Affairs, Pathways to Education Canada. "Providing tuition grants to low-income youth will increase low-income student access and participation in post-secondary education."
We welcome the Government's plan to work with partners across the education sector to undertake early outreach to address non-financial barriers to post-secondary education; we look forward to participating in these efforts. We are very grateful for the support of the Government of Ontario and applaud their valued progress made in closing the achievement gap and supporting students' transition to post-secondary life.
About Pathways to Education
Pathways to Education is a national, charitable organization working to make Canada a Graduation Nation. Partnering with dedicated organizations in low-income communities, Pathways supports youth to graduate from high school and achieve their full potential. Celebrating 15 years of successful programming, our award-winning combination of financial, social and individual supports continues to successfully break the cycle of poverty through the power of education. For more information, visit www.pathwaystoeducation.ca
SOURCE Pathways to Education Canada
For further information: Colleen Ryan, Director, Marketing and Communications, Pathways to Education Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416 646 0123 x503; For media inquiries: Katherine Heydon, Associate Vice President, Corporate Communications, FleishmanHillard, Katherine.Heydon@Fleishman.ca, 416 645 3665