Pathways to Education
The Pathways to Education Program® is an innovative, community-based program that helps young people succeed in and graduate from high school and move on to post-secondary education and/or meaningful employment. The program works in partnership with schools and the local community to provide a comprehensive set of academic, financial and social supports to youth living in low-income neighbourhoods, starting in Grade 9 and continuing on until high school graduation.
The program was founded in Toronto’s Regent Park community in 2001, and now operates in 12 communities across Canada, including Ottawa.
The results of this unique program have been groundbreaking, reducing high school drop-out rates by as much as 70 per cent, and increasing the rate at which youth go on to college or university by up to 300 per cent.
The Pathways Model
Academic Support: Tutoring in core high school subjects four nights per week provides a safe, social learning environment for Pathways students. Students come to tutoring to get help with their homework and projects, to prepare for tests and exams, and to develop organization and time management skills.
Social Support: By encouraging students to try different activities and take advantage of opportunities, the mentoring program helps students to explore new possibilities and discover hidden passions and talents which could ultimately lead them to find a meaningful and fulfilling life and career path.
Financial Support: Pathways students receive bus tickets or lunch vouchers for each day they attend school. They may also be eligible for a Pathways scholarships to help pay for college, university, or vocational training.
Staff Support: Student-Parent Support Workers are staff that work one-on-one with the Pathways students. SPSWs help to build stable relationships between young people, parents and school staff by monitoring attendance, problem-solving with school administration and teachers, and advocating on behalf of the students when parents are unable to do so.