Scadding Court Community Centre is looking to help give young women in its community a chance to gain valuable experience and help overcome gender barriers.
The community centre is launching a new program, Economic Empowerment for Young Women, and is seeking 10 women aged 15 to 24 to participate.
Funded by Status of Women Canada, the program will aim to better the lives of its participants and others in the community.
“We’ve identified some economic barriers that exist for young women and we want to help them overcome these,” said Julia Ma of Scadding Court. “Right now, we’re just looking to connect with young women in our community.”
Ma said some of the factors facing too many young women in the Scadding Court, Chinatown, Alexandra Park and surrounding neighbourhoods include starting out in low-income households, violence against women and a lack of education.
“We want to help them with leadership-building, facilitation and financial management knowledge,” she said.
Program participants will be given a $75 monthly honorarium. While the dollar figure may not seem like much, it can help the young women get a leg up on starting their own business.
Once the participants go through the program, they can also share what they have learned with others, becoming peer leaders.
“We want them to take this information out to the rest of the community,” Ma said. “Once the peer leaders build their skills, they can share this expertise.”
The program will also help both the participants and Scadding Court Community Centre make stronger connections with other community organizations such as the police service.
While the registration deadline was originally slated for Wednesday, Feb. 6, Ma said it has been extended to Monday, Feb. 11 to allow more youth a chance to apply. An interview process will follow to ensure the best candidates are chosen.
Those looking to take part in the program are asked to email Julia@scaddingcourt.org or call 416-392-0335, ext. 233.