Helping vulnerable youth find a pathway to education

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

Kingston –  It’s an exciting time for Hank Berrin.  He’s graduating from high school.  Berrin says his journey to the podium couldn’t have been possible without Pathways to Education and volunteers like Logan Jackson.

Hank Berrin/Graduating High School
“Logan is awesome, such a role model. They helped me apply for OSAP, they helped me all 5-years I’ve been here, they helped me do a lot of things that I wouldn’t be able to do myself.”

Pathways is a graduation promotion and drop out prevention organization.  Based in the north end of Kingston – the non profit has been around since 2010 helping 182 students get their diploma.
Like Jackson, who graduated from the program 2 years ago.  He’s now a volunteer and spends two nights a week ensuring others get to wear the cap and gown too.

Logan Jackson/Alumni/Volunteer, Pathways to Education
“The financial support, the academic support, the social support, like this program was great for me and helped me in so many ways and I want to return the favour.”

According to Program Researcher Ellyn Clost-Lambert the drop out rate in Kingston’s north end is twice as high than the rest of the city.  Many of the students come from low income families or have some form of a learning disability.  The team here is made up of certified teachers, child and youth care as well as social service workers.   By signing up – students from 13 to 21 years old can access free services like tutoring.  There’s also a financial incentive for high school students.  If they stick to their plan — every two weeks they’re given 30 dollars worth of cafeteria or grocery gift cards.
But that’s not all.

Ellyn Clost-Lambert/Program Researcher
“And at the end of every year they get 5-hundred dollars held in trust to go to the college, university or training institution of their choice or if they’re headed straight to work we have 5-hundred dollars to spend on supplies.”

Which adds up to 2-thousand dollars on graduation day, money that will go a long way to help Berrin attend St. Lawrence College in the fall.  Jackson is enrolled at Queen’s.  And if either need someone to talk to – the doors at Pathways to Education will be open.  Nikki Jhutti, CKWS News Kingston.

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