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Tapping the Potential of All Canadians, The YMCA and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation Partner to Increase Post-secondary Participation

by NationTalk on December 13, 2007952 Views

TORONTO, Dec. 13 – Today, Scott Haldane, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto, and Norman Riddell, CEO and Executive Director of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, unveiled a new partnership that aims to ensure that more young people from Aboriginal, first generation and low-income families continue school past high school. The Post-Secondary Access Partnership will provide information and one-on-one advising to students and their families from groups that traditionally do not pursue education beyond high school. The program aims to show how a post-secondary education is not only a desirable option for them, but also a viable one.

Four out of ten young Canadians do not finish high school, do not go on to post-secondary education or drop out of post-secondary studies. These students generally come from First Nations communities and families where parents did not go beyond high school. To succeed in a global economy that demands highly skilled workers, a country like Canada, with a low birth rate and an aging workforce, must tap the potential of people who are underrepresented in post-secondary programs.

“Our two organizations share the belief that lifting barriers that restrict access for under-represented groups creates an economically healthy equitable society,” said Scott Haldane, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

“We are delighted at the Foundation to work with the YMCA on this project. Their on-going dedication to inclusiveness, personal growth and young people makes them the ideal partner in this endeavour,” said Norman Riddell, CEO and Executive Director of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

The program will be piloted at YMCA sites in the Greater Toronto Area (Downtown Toronto, Newmarket and Rexdale), Montreal (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Notre-Dame-de-Grace) and Edmonton. These centres will begin operations in the new year. Additional sites will be added as the project moves forward. The YMCA will look to partner with a wide range of other local and national organizations in delivering the projects.

The Foundation will provide seed funding ($220,000 in national funding plus $50,000 per project) and training to the partnership. The YMCA will coordinate local partnerships, deliver the services and work together with the Foundation to ensure the future financial viability of the projects.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

Serving over 400,000 members at more than 240 program sites throughout the GTA, The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity focused on community support and development. By making connections, collaborating, and mirroring our region’s diversity, the YMCA believes it can become the network that binds many neighbourhoods into one city, one country, and one world. www.ymcatoronto.org.

About the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation is a private organization created by an act of Parliament in 1998. It provides students with opportunities to pursue the post-secondary education they need to prepare themselves for the future. Each year, it distributes some $340 million in the form of bursaries and scholarships throughout Canada. Since its inception, it has awarded 800,000 bursaries, with a total value of $2.3 billion, to Canadian post-secondary students. www.millenniumscholarships.ca

For further information: Jamie Slater, YMCA of Greater Toronto, (416) 413-1020 ext. 2362; Janet Sandor, The Impact Group, (416) 481-7070 ext. 25, (416) 802-5526 (cell)

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