Pathways to Education helps thousands of at-risk students

News Jun 27, 2017 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Late June brings the advent of summer vacation for students across Canada, and with the passing of every school year, Pathways to Education is helping more and more of them find hope and a route to success.

The not-for-profit started up in Regent Park, as a means of helping youth in the at-risk downtown neighbourhood achieve better results in school. At the time, many students there faced academic and financial barriers that all but ensured they would go no further than high school.

“There was a recognition that too many students living in Regent Park didn’t have access to the types of supports they needed to succeed in high school,” said Pathways to Education president and CEO Sue Gillespie. “There were too many students who weren’t graduating from high school.”

Implemented in 2001, Pathways offered tutoring and mentoring; one-on-one supports for students and parents; and financial assistance, to help young people afford bus fare to school and access post-secondary education. With a focus on some of Regent Park’s most vulnerable — yet talented — students, the results were staggering.

“From the time the program started, Pathways was able to double the graduation rates there within five years,” Gillespie said.

Given its success, the Pathways model has since been replicated in the Lawrence Heights, Rexdale and Scarborough Village communities in Toronto, as well as in locations such as Ottawa, Kitchener, Hamilton, Kingston, Halifax and Verdun.

The Pathways model gives some of its graduates up to $2,000 in grants toward a post-secondary education for each year they are involved in the program, with those funds good for everything from tuition to supplies for those pursuing careers in the trades.

“We want to help students along their path, whatever that path is,” Gillespie said. “What a lot of the students tell us is that the biggest help is just realizing there’s a circle of people around them who believe in them.”

Ermias Nagatu, who enrolled in Pathways in Regent Park in 2006, said the program was a major factor in his earning a degree in kinesiology and health sciences. This fall, he plans on applying to medical school — a goal that was unthinkable a decade ago.

“I was struggling in Grade 9 and 10 — I failed an English course — and the defining moment for me was when I got paired with a support worker from Pathways,” he said. “I nearly doubled my grade.”

Nagatu noted that back when he was in high school, he faced several barriers to becoming a doctor.

“I didn’t consider myself competent enough to go to university or financially secure enough to afford it,” he said. “I couldn’t have imagined where I’d be now.”

Even after graduating, Pathways has helped him through networking, help with internships and other supports.

His story is but one of thousands of Pathways graduates, with some 5,400 students and roughly 900 more graduates expected from the program this year.

For more information on Pathways to Education, visit www.pathwaystoeducation.ca.

Pathways to Education helps thousands of at-risk students

Initiative has greatly expanded from its Regent Park roots

News Jun 27, 2017 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Late June brings the advent of summer vacation for students across Canada, and with the passing of every school year, Pathways to Education is helping more and more of them find hope and a route to success.

The not-for-profit started up in Regent Park, as a means of helping youth in the at-risk downtown neighbourhood achieve better results in school. At the time, many students there faced academic and financial barriers that all but ensured they would go no further than high school.

“There was a recognition that too many students living in Regent Park didn’t have access to the types of supports they needed to succeed in high school,” said Pathways to Education president and CEO Sue Gillespie. “There were too many students who weren’t graduating from high school.”

Implemented in 2001, Pathways offered tutoring and mentoring; one-on-one supports for students and parents; and financial assistance, to help young people afford bus fare to school and access post-secondary education. With a focus on some of Regent Park’s most vulnerable — yet talented — students, the results were staggering.

“From the time the program started, Pathways was able to double the graduation rates there within five years,” Gillespie said.

Given its success, the Pathways model has since been replicated in the Lawrence Heights, Rexdale and Scarborough Village communities in Toronto, as well as in locations such as Ottawa, Kitchener, Hamilton, Kingston, Halifax and Verdun.

The Pathways model gives some of its graduates up to $2,000 in grants toward a post-secondary education for each year they are involved in the program, with those funds good for everything from tuition to supplies for those pursuing careers in the trades.

“We want to help students along their path, whatever that path is,” Gillespie said. “What a lot of the students tell us is that the biggest help is just realizing there’s a circle of people around them who believe in them.”

Ermias Nagatu, who enrolled in Pathways in Regent Park in 2006, said the program was a major factor in his earning a degree in kinesiology and health sciences. This fall, he plans on applying to medical school — a goal that was unthinkable a decade ago.

“I was struggling in Grade 9 and 10 — I failed an English course — and the defining moment for me was when I got paired with a support worker from Pathways,” he said. “I nearly doubled my grade.”

Nagatu noted that back when he was in high school, he faced several barriers to becoming a doctor.

“I didn’t consider myself competent enough to go to university or financially secure enough to afford it,” he said. “I couldn’t have imagined where I’d be now.”

Even after graduating, Pathways has helped him through networking, help with internships and other supports.

His story is but one of thousands of Pathways graduates, with some 5,400 students and roughly 900 more graduates expected from the program this year.

For more information on Pathways to Education, visit www.pathwaystoeducation.ca.

Pathways to Education helps thousands of at-risk students

Initiative has greatly expanded from its Regent Park roots

News Jun 27, 2017 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Late June brings the advent of summer vacation for students across Canada, and with the passing of every school year, Pathways to Education is helping more and more of them find hope and a route to success.

The not-for-profit started up in Regent Park, as a means of helping youth in the at-risk downtown neighbourhood achieve better results in school. At the time, many students there faced academic and financial barriers that all but ensured they would go no further than high school.

“There was a recognition that too many students living in Regent Park didn’t have access to the types of supports they needed to succeed in high school,” said Pathways to Education president and CEO Sue Gillespie. “There were too many students who weren’t graduating from high school.”

Implemented in 2001, Pathways offered tutoring and mentoring; one-on-one supports for students and parents; and financial assistance, to help young people afford bus fare to school and access post-secondary education. With a focus on some of Regent Park’s most vulnerable — yet talented — students, the results were staggering.

“From the time the program started, Pathways was able to double the graduation rates there within five years,” Gillespie said.

Given its success, the Pathways model has since been replicated in the Lawrence Heights, Rexdale and Scarborough Village communities in Toronto, as well as in locations such as Ottawa, Kitchener, Hamilton, Kingston, Halifax and Verdun.

The Pathways model gives some of its graduates up to $2,000 in grants toward a post-secondary education for each year they are involved in the program, with those funds good for everything from tuition to supplies for those pursuing careers in the trades.

“We want to help students along their path, whatever that path is,” Gillespie said. “What a lot of the students tell us is that the biggest help is just realizing there’s a circle of people around them who believe in them.”

Ermias Nagatu, who enrolled in Pathways in Regent Park in 2006, said the program was a major factor in his earning a degree in kinesiology and health sciences. This fall, he plans on applying to medical school — a goal that was unthinkable a decade ago.

“I was struggling in Grade 9 and 10 — I failed an English course — and the defining moment for me was when I got paired with a support worker from Pathways,” he said. “I nearly doubled my grade.”

Nagatu noted that back when he was in high school, he faced several barriers to becoming a doctor.

“I didn’t consider myself competent enough to go to university or financially secure enough to afford it,” he said. “I couldn’t have imagined where I’d be now.”

Even after graduating, Pathways has helped him through networking, help with internships and other supports.

His story is but one of thousands of Pathways graduates, with some 5,400 students and roughly 900 more graduates expected from the program this year.

For more information on Pathways to Education, visit www.pathwaystoeducation.ca.