New Jean Augustine Centre to help women lead a healthy and mindful life

News Jun 23, 2014 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

“When you create the right environment, opportunities arise.”

That was the core belief behind the creation of PACT Urban Peace Program’s new Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, which celebrated its grand opening with a red-carpet ribbon-cutting ceremony in south Etobicoke last week.

“The Jean Augustine Centre has been established to ensure young women get the support and guidance they need to make the right decisions,” PACT’s Justin Di Ciano told a packed audience at last Thursday’s opening, noting that the Portland Street centre’s programs will focus on education, nutrition, mindfulness and real-world job training.

“We are not a charity, we are investors – and our product is young people. If we want to grow as a prosperous community, we must all understand that it is healthy, empowered and educated women who raise healthy, educated and confident children.”

With that goal in mind, PACT decided to name its new centre – which will act as a teaching and training portal, integrating all of PACTs current LifePlan Coaching and LifeSkills programming under one roof – after south Etobicoke’s own Jean Augustine.

Hailed by many as a trailblazer, Augustine became the first ever African-Canadian woman elected to Parliament when she won the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993, serving as the area’s MP until 2005.

And her list of achievements doesn’t end there.

Augustine is responsible for bringing Black History Month to Canada as an MP back in 1995; has served as president of the Canadian Congress of Black Women; chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority; and is currently Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner. She has sat on the boards of the National Black Coalition of Canada, York University, the Hospital for Sick Children, the Donwood Institute, and Harbourfront, and received the Order of Canada in 2009 in recognition of her dedication to serving youth, single mothers and newcomers.

Augustine was also very recently appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to education and politics.

Despite all of her accomplishments, Augustine said she was humbled to have PACT name its new centre after her – and vowed to play a role in its programming.

“There’s a whole menu of opportunities that they’re providing here, so we’re hoping this will be the beginning of something that will really grow in this community and provide opportunities for leadership,” she told The Guardian in an interview before the ribbon cutting. “I’m going to be in and out, but I’d really like to do some mentoring and provide all the support I can to the young people who come here.”

Much of the programming PACT (which stands for Participation, Acknowledgment, Commitment, Transformation) has provided for the last 20 years has been geared towards youth who either live in under-served areas of the city or are in conflict with the law – its aim, to break criminal behaviours and the cycle of poverty.

And now, thanks to funding from Dunbar Homes owner John Zanini, Di Ciano said PACT is finally able to tackle those challenges under one roof at the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, where he hopes to begin addressing the “unique and challenging” circumstances young girls face today.

“Sexual violence, gender discrimination, teen pregnancy, shame and poverty – these are all of the daily realities far too many young women living right here in our communities face,” he said. “And the reality is too many young women today think their only way out of an abusive home is to have a home of their own, and far too often they find love and validation in the wrong places, and the cycle of poverty repeats itself.”

To help remedy that, at the Jean Augustine Centre young women will be able to gain access to long-term PACT Lifeplan Coaching – an intensive program where they’ll work one-on-one with a certified personal life coach on a weekly basis for up to one and a half years, addressing their identified needs and “giving youth the confidence and tools to set positive goals in key areas of their lives.”

And to support that transformation, young women in the LifePlan Coaching Program will also be encouraged to attend the full spectrum of integrated skill and personal development programs now available to them at the Jean Augustine Centre, including:

- PACTCooking: Home and Hearth for Young Women – a special six-week course in which young women will learn how to make six unique, highly nutritious, great tasting meals to feed a family of five for $15.

- PACTFashion Sewing and Design Studio – a hands-on sewing and design school teaching practical design, sewing and alteration skills.

- PACTYoga Studio – featuring classes in hatha, vinyasa and yin yoga to assist and encourage young women to develop a personal and intimate relationship with themselves.

- PACTMeditation – an opportunity to explore mindfulness as a means of promoting a healthy mind and body and nurture the seeds of happiness, understanding, loving kindness, compassion and peace.

- PACT Candle & Soap Making Studio – in which students will learn how to professionally manufacture either handcrafted, artisan soap or candles, as well as how to brand, market and merchandise their products.

- PACTFilm: Introduction to Film Workshop – a hands-on workshop covering all aspects of film and TV production.

- Grow-to-Learn Garden – a program that creates safe, experiential and positive learning environments in low-income neighbourhoods, as well as acts as a catalyst in raising awareness of important issues related to healthy eating/nutrition, food security, environmental sustainability and hunger in our schools and local communities.

- PACTRocks Intro to Music and Instruments – a hands-on and accessible urban music workshop for youth ages 14-21.

For more information about the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, go to http://bit.ly/1lJJlfy

New Jean Augustine Centre to help women lead a healthy and mindful life

Music, meditation and cooking part of the centre’s programming

News Jun 23, 2014 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

“When you create the right environment, opportunities arise.”

That was the core belief behind the creation of PACT Urban Peace Program’s new Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, which celebrated its grand opening with a red-carpet ribbon-cutting ceremony in south Etobicoke last week.

“The Jean Augustine Centre has been established to ensure young women get the support and guidance they need to make the right decisions,” PACT’s Justin Di Ciano told a packed audience at last Thursday’s opening, noting that the Portland Street centre’s programs will focus on education, nutrition, mindfulness and real-world job training.

“We are not a charity, we are investors – and our product is young people. If we want to grow as a prosperous community, we must all understand that it is healthy, empowered and educated women who raise healthy, educated and confident children.”

With that goal in mind, PACT decided to name its new centre – which will act as a teaching and training portal, integrating all of PACTs current LifePlan Coaching and LifeSkills programming under one roof – after south Etobicoke’s own Jean Augustine.

Hailed by many as a trailblazer, Augustine became the first ever African-Canadian woman elected to Parliament when she won the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993, serving as the area’s MP until 2005.

And her list of achievements doesn’t end there.

Augustine is responsible for bringing Black History Month to Canada as an MP back in 1995; has served as president of the Canadian Congress of Black Women; chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority; and is currently Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner. She has sat on the boards of the National Black Coalition of Canada, York University, the Hospital for Sick Children, the Donwood Institute, and Harbourfront, and received the Order of Canada in 2009 in recognition of her dedication to serving youth, single mothers and newcomers.

Augustine was also very recently appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to education and politics.

Despite all of her accomplishments, Augustine said she was humbled to have PACT name its new centre after her – and vowed to play a role in its programming.

“There’s a whole menu of opportunities that they’re providing here, so we’re hoping this will be the beginning of something that will really grow in this community and provide opportunities for leadership,” she told The Guardian in an interview before the ribbon cutting. “I’m going to be in and out, but I’d really like to do some mentoring and provide all the support I can to the young people who come here.”

Much of the programming PACT (which stands for Participation, Acknowledgment, Commitment, Transformation) has provided for the last 20 years has been geared towards youth who either live in under-served areas of the city or are in conflict with the law – its aim, to break criminal behaviours and the cycle of poverty.

And now, thanks to funding from Dunbar Homes owner John Zanini, Di Ciano said PACT is finally able to tackle those challenges under one roof at the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, where he hopes to begin addressing the “unique and challenging” circumstances young girls face today.

“Sexual violence, gender discrimination, teen pregnancy, shame and poverty – these are all of the daily realities far too many young women living right here in our communities face,” he said. “And the reality is too many young women today think their only way out of an abusive home is to have a home of their own, and far too often they find love and validation in the wrong places, and the cycle of poverty repeats itself.”

To help remedy that, at the Jean Augustine Centre young women will be able to gain access to long-term PACT Lifeplan Coaching – an intensive program where they’ll work one-on-one with a certified personal life coach on a weekly basis for up to one and a half years, addressing their identified needs and “giving youth the confidence and tools to set positive goals in key areas of their lives.”

And to support that transformation, young women in the LifePlan Coaching Program will also be encouraged to attend the full spectrum of integrated skill and personal development programs now available to them at the Jean Augustine Centre, including:

- PACTCooking: Home and Hearth for Young Women – a special six-week course in which young women will learn how to make six unique, highly nutritious, great tasting meals to feed a family of five for $15.

- PACTFashion Sewing and Design Studio – a hands-on sewing and design school teaching practical design, sewing and alteration skills.

- PACTYoga Studio – featuring classes in hatha, vinyasa and yin yoga to assist and encourage young women to develop a personal and intimate relationship with themselves.

- PACTMeditation – an opportunity to explore mindfulness as a means of promoting a healthy mind and body and nurture the seeds of happiness, understanding, loving kindness, compassion and peace.

- PACT Candle & Soap Making Studio – in which students will learn how to professionally manufacture either handcrafted, artisan soap or candles, as well as how to brand, market and merchandise their products.

- PACTFilm: Introduction to Film Workshop – a hands-on workshop covering all aspects of film and TV production.

- Grow-to-Learn Garden – a program that creates safe, experiential and positive learning environments in low-income neighbourhoods, as well as acts as a catalyst in raising awareness of important issues related to healthy eating/nutrition, food security, environmental sustainability and hunger in our schools and local communities.

- PACTRocks Intro to Music and Instruments – a hands-on and accessible urban music workshop for youth ages 14-21.

For more information about the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, go to http://bit.ly/1lJJlfy

New Jean Augustine Centre to help women lead a healthy and mindful life

Music, meditation and cooking part of the centre’s programming

News Jun 23, 2014 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

“When you create the right environment, opportunities arise.”

That was the core belief behind the creation of PACT Urban Peace Program’s new Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, which celebrated its grand opening with a red-carpet ribbon-cutting ceremony in south Etobicoke last week.

“The Jean Augustine Centre has been established to ensure young women get the support and guidance they need to make the right decisions,” PACT’s Justin Di Ciano told a packed audience at last Thursday’s opening, noting that the Portland Street centre’s programs will focus on education, nutrition, mindfulness and real-world job training.

“We are not a charity, we are investors – and our product is young people. If we want to grow as a prosperous community, we must all understand that it is healthy, empowered and educated women who raise healthy, educated and confident children.”

With that goal in mind, PACT decided to name its new centre – which will act as a teaching and training portal, integrating all of PACTs current LifePlan Coaching and LifeSkills programming under one roof – after south Etobicoke’s own Jean Augustine.

Hailed by many as a trailblazer, Augustine became the first ever African-Canadian woman elected to Parliament when she won the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993, serving as the area’s MP until 2005.

And her list of achievements doesn’t end there.

Augustine is responsible for bringing Black History Month to Canada as an MP back in 1995; has served as president of the Canadian Congress of Black Women; chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority; and is currently Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner. She has sat on the boards of the National Black Coalition of Canada, York University, the Hospital for Sick Children, the Donwood Institute, and Harbourfront, and received the Order of Canada in 2009 in recognition of her dedication to serving youth, single mothers and newcomers.

Augustine was also very recently appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to education and politics.

Despite all of her accomplishments, Augustine said she was humbled to have PACT name its new centre after her – and vowed to play a role in its programming.

“There’s a whole menu of opportunities that they’re providing here, so we’re hoping this will be the beginning of something that will really grow in this community and provide opportunities for leadership,” she told The Guardian in an interview before the ribbon cutting. “I’m going to be in and out, but I’d really like to do some mentoring and provide all the support I can to the young people who come here.”

Much of the programming PACT (which stands for Participation, Acknowledgment, Commitment, Transformation) has provided for the last 20 years has been geared towards youth who either live in under-served areas of the city or are in conflict with the law – its aim, to break criminal behaviours and the cycle of poverty.

And now, thanks to funding from Dunbar Homes owner John Zanini, Di Ciano said PACT is finally able to tackle those challenges under one roof at the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, where he hopes to begin addressing the “unique and challenging” circumstances young girls face today.

“Sexual violence, gender discrimination, teen pregnancy, shame and poverty – these are all of the daily realities far too many young women living right here in our communities face,” he said. “And the reality is too many young women today think their only way out of an abusive home is to have a home of their own, and far too often they find love and validation in the wrong places, and the cycle of poverty repeats itself.”

To help remedy that, at the Jean Augustine Centre young women will be able to gain access to long-term PACT Lifeplan Coaching – an intensive program where they’ll work one-on-one with a certified personal life coach on a weekly basis for up to one and a half years, addressing their identified needs and “giving youth the confidence and tools to set positive goals in key areas of their lives.”

And to support that transformation, young women in the LifePlan Coaching Program will also be encouraged to attend the full spectrum of integrated skill and personal development programs now available to them at the Jean Augustine Centre, including:

- PACTCooking: Home and Hearth for Young Women – a special six-week course in which young women will learn how to make six unique, highly nutritious, great tasting meals to feed a family of five for $15.

- PACTFashion Sewing and Design Studio – a hands-on sewing and design school teaching practical design, sewing and alteration skills.

- PACTYoga Studio – featuring classes in hatha, vinyasa and yin yoga to assist and encourage young women to develop a personal and intimate relationship with themselves.

- PACTMeditation – an opportunity to explore mindfulness as a means of promoting a healthy mind and body and nurture the seeds of happiness, understanding, loving kindness, compassion and peace.

- PACT Candle & Soap Making Studio – in which students will learn how to professionally manufacture either handcrafted, artisan soap or candles, as well as how to brand, market and merchandise their products.

- PACTFilm: Introduction to Film Workshop – a hands-on workshop covering all aspects of film and TV production.

- Grow-to-Learn Garden – a program that creates safe, experiential and positive learning environments in low-income neighbourhoods, as well as acts as a catalyst in raising awareness of important issues related to healthy eating/nutrition, food security, environmental sustainability and hunger in our schools and local communities.

- PACTRocks Intro to Music and Instruments – a hands-on and accessible urban music workshop for youth ages 14-21.

For more information about the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, go to http://bit.ly/1lJJlfy