Teen Resource Centre and Pathways to Education Canada partner to break the cycle of poverty for Saint John youth

Pathways to Education Program™ offered to youth in Waterloo Village and the South End to boost high school graduation rates

SAINT JOHN, June 7, 2016 /CNW/ - The Teen Resource Centre (TRC) and Pathways to Education Canada are pleased to announce that they have partnered to help support Saint John youth to graduate from high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education, training, or employment.

Scheduled to launch in September 2016, the TRC will deliver the award-winning Pathways to Education Program – a combination of academic, financial, social, and one-on-one supports proven to lower high school dropout rates – to high school students living in Waterloo Village and South End. 

"We are thrilled to partner with Pathways to Education Canada to support Saint John youth from Waterloo Village and South End, where poverty rates exceed 30 per cent, and the child poverty rate is 49.5 per cent," says June Breau-Nason, Executive Director of the TRC. "We are proud to be the host agency and Program partner for this great initiative for youth who need it most."

Pathways to Education and the TRC acknowledge the Government of Canada's continued support of the Pathways Program and Canada's youth. The provision of $34.5 million over four years to Pathways to Education has been a vital component in making this expansion possible.

"Pathways to Education Canada does great work in helping at-risk youth in low-income communities," says the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. "The new Saint John Program will help Pathways extend its reach to more young people who are facing barriers, and provide them with the tools they need to graduate from high school."

Recent community studies indicate that, among respondents, 90 per cent of Waterloo Village and South End youth identify social issues – like bullying, feeling misunderstood, issues at home, or anxiety – as a major contributor to having trouble in school. One quarter of youth do not believe they will graduate from high school. A further 25 per cent say that, if they do, it will take at least five or six years. Nearly half think that there are significant barriers preventing them from continuing to post-secondary.  

"Pathways to Education has a successful track record of improving high school graduation rates in low-income communities across Canada. We welcome our partnership with TRC to begin the process for the youth and families of Waterloo Village and the South End in Saint John," says Sue Gillespie, President and CEO, Pathways to Education Canada. "Improving high school graduation rates has proven to have a positive impact on youth, their families, their communities, and our country. We are proud to be working together to break the cycle of poverty through the power of education."

Celebrating 15 years of programming, Pathways to Education's results have been groundbreaking. High school graduation rates have increased by an average of 75 per cent, and 73 per cent of all students who graduated from high school while in the Pathways to Education Program have gone on to post-secondary education or training.

Pathways to Education provides students with weekly tutoring, flexible and personalized mentoring, financial incentives and scholarship funding, as well as advocacy support to provide a bridge between the student and their school, family, program, and community. These supports come at no cost to the youth or their families.

"Anticipation is really building for our first cohort of Grade 9 students starting the Program in September 2016," says Heather Doyle, Pathways to Education Program Manager for the TRC. "Each year we will welcome a new Grade 9 cohort, and work with each group of young people until they graduate. We look forward to working with Pathways to Education and the community to close Saint John's educational achievement gap."

About Pathways to Education Canada – www.pathwaystoeducation.ca

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 academic, financial, social, and one-on-one supports continues to successfully break the cycle of poverty through the power of education.

About the TRC – www.trc4youth.org

The Teen Resource Centre (TRC) provides a safe and encouraging environment for youth to explore their full potential. We offer services and programs for youth between the ages of 12-24, designed to foster in them the creativity, energy and leadership our community needs to grow and thrive. We also provide services and programs that assist youth with their physical and mental health, provide on-site services to assist youth who are homeless or living in vulnerable situations, facilitate career path and mentoring to help youth build life skills, create opportunities for community volunteerism and leadership training, and encourage youth to explore and discover their interests and passions. The support and services provided by the TRC directly contributes to a healthy and vibrant youth population, reducing the risks associated with crime, homelessness, addiction and recidivism.

SOURCE Pathways to Education Canada

For further information: Colleen Ryan, Director, Marketing and Communications, Pathways to Education Canada, Phone: 416 646 0123 x 503, Email: cryan@pathwayscanada.ca; Heather Doyle, Pathways to Education Program Manager, Teen Resource Centre, Phone: 506 632 3301, Email: heather@trc4youth.ca

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