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Pathways to Education Canada launches youth peace-building program with help from the Ontario Trillium Foundation

Pathways celebrates five successful years in Ottawa and honours community donors

OTTAWA, Nov. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - On Wednesday, to celebrate the generosity of key supporters such as the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Pathways to Education invited Ottawa-area donors to a special appreciation event. Since its launch in 2007, the Ottawa Pathways to Education site has helped many local youth overcome income-related barriers that can stand in the way of education.

At the event, Pathways recognized the Foundation and its generous three-year, $296,500 province-wide grant to support Pathways to Education's new Youth Leadership and Peace-Building Program designed to teach skills in non-violent conflict resolution. Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi and Pierre Page, Ontario Trillium Foundation Board member, were on hand to congratulate Pathways on its ongoing commitment to building healthier and more vibrant communities.

"This Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for Pathways to Education Canada will translate into critical supports for youth in Ottawa," said Bob Chiarelli, MPP for Ottawa-West Nepean. "Outstanding results have been achieved, and I look forward to the many successes to come for our youth involved in these programs."

"Pathways to Education ensures youth from all backgrounds are afforded every opportunity to succeed," said Yasir Naqvi, MPP, Ottawa Centre. "These funds will allow them to develop leadership skills to help complete their education and get set on a career path, while inspiring their peers to do the same." 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is one of the founding partners of Pathways to Education Canada, having provided one of the organization's first-ever grants that supported their early work in 1999. Since then, the Foundation has provided Pathways to Education with close to $2.5 million in grant money.

"Thanks to the early and ongoing support of Ontario Trillium Foundation, Pathways to Education is succeeding in closing the education achievement gap for youth in low-income communities"  said David Hughes, President and CEO, Pathways to Education Canada. "Their investment in the development of new programming means that Pathways can continue to deliver an innovative program that is preparing youth with relevant and lasting skills".

In partnership with YOUCAN, a non-profit specializing in youth-led methods of non-violent conflict resolution, the Pathways to Education Youth Leadership and Peace-Building Program has been piloted at the Ottawa Pathways site since 2011. Now, with the success of the pilot project, the Youth Leadership and Peace-Building Program will be implemented in all 12 Pathways locations across Canada. To date, over 1,000 youth have received training in some or all of the program's eight modules. The program empowers youth to build successful relationships by teaching skills to peacefully navigate the socio-political tensions and boundaries they face related to class, race, ability, language, appearance, sexuality and gender.

"We are extremely grateful to all the funders who support our efforts to ensure that the youth in our community have the same access to opportunities as their more affluent peers" said Jill Skinner, Board Chair for Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, the community agency that delivers the Pathways program in Ottawa. "The generosity of our donors makes the Pathways program possible and is having a positive long-term impact in the Ottawa community".

About Pathways to Education Canada - www.pathwaystoeducation.ca
Pathways to Education Canada is a charitable organization that helps youth in low-income communities graduate from 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 twelve communities across Canada, with programs in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre - Founded by community members in 1979, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre is an innovative, community based, multi-service centre striving to meet the needs of the diverse communities it serves. Its 225 full and part-time staff, and over 450 volunteers, work in partnership with individuals, families and communities to help them achieve their full potential, paying particular attention to those who are most vulnerable and at risk.

Ontario Trillium Foundation - A leading grant-maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.

SOURCE Pathways to Education Canada

Image with caption: "David Hughes of Pathways to Education Canada, Pierre Pagé of Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Yasir Naqvi MPP for Ottawa Centre, celebrate the achievements of the Pathways to Education Ottawa program. (CNW Group/Pathways to Education Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121108_C5154_PHOTO_EN_20373.jpg

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