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Community Youth Partnerships

Opening doors so every youth can dream

Every youth deserves a chance at a successful career. Yet too many youth experience racism, discrimination, poverty, and systemic biases that get in the way of their career dreams.

Newcomer youth often deal with these issues as they adjust to a new country and culture.

We are partnering with some Waterloo Region organizations to remove these barriers so that all youth can obtain the knowledge and skills required to explore career options, set goals and be able to pursue them.

Volunteer as a speaker

Why action is needed

A challenge for all youth is that they often limit their career choices to those which they have some direct experience. That challenge is compounded if youth lack awareness that people like them are engineers, plumbers, accountants or journalists. Seeing people who are like you is important to being able to believe that a career choice is for you.

Youth that face barriers to career possibilities and that are readily available to the majority of youth may also require additional supports to identify how to obtain required criteria or determine the academic pathway to achieve a goal. A marginalized youth may not have others in their life that recognize they have what it takes to be a tool and die maker or that starting an apprenticeship in high school could help them experience that career option.

Working with racialized youth in the community, when they are with a group of peers with shared experience and/or culture, is a better way to reach them than in a classroom where the majority have a different experiences and privileges they may not share.

Working with youth in the community

We will be intentional and proactive in taking our youth career expertise out of schools and reach youth facing challenges to career exploration and planning where they are in the community so they can be comfortable having discussions and asking questions they avoid in school.

  • We will match our volunteer speakers with groups organized by our community partners to share their career stories or participate in a panel discussion.

  • We can introduce youth to the importance of transferrable skills and how to obtain them, how to identify and respond to workforce trends, and how to use tools to research jobs and the paths required to get them.

Our first partnership

We are pleased to have partnered with Focus for Ethnic Women on holding a couple sessions as part of series they are offering to young women in September 2022. We were able to provide several speakers who are relatable role models.

Help us diversify our speaker team

While we have speakers from a range of racial backgrounds including some who have experience as newcomers, we want to increase the diversity of the role models in our Speakers Bureau especially those with a Career Profile on our website.

Volunteer as a speaker

Does your group serve youth who face systemic barriers?

While we're starting small, we're always interested in learning about relevant groups interested in discussing a partnership.

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