When youth from the Malvern and East Scarborough neighbourhoods are suspended or expelled, they don’t head to the mall or the empty park to hang out. Instead they find their way to the ROSE (Real Opportunity forSuccess in Education) program, a place where they can learn, obtain school credits, and get back on track. ROSE is a Youth Challenge Fund grant program that is making inroads with youth in priority neighbourhoods and sending them on their way to academic improvement.
At the heart of the ROSE program are young people at risk of dropping out. Now they are working with teachers, child and youth workers, and Brian Henry, Student Success Coach. Instead of dropping out, they’re on track to graduate high school and, better yet, many are on their way to post-secondary education. And for those who choose not to pursue college or university, they’ve added a high school diploma to their resume, opening up future employment opportunities.
“One of our participants, a talented young athlete whose behaviour and attitude got him kicked out of school, finished high school and went on to Lakehead University on partial scholarship where he maintains a 3.2 GPA,” said Henry. “He is coming back this summer to volunteer with our recreational program as a mentor.
”Henry says the ROSE program unveils students’ potential, helping once disengaged youth gain a sense of belonging and ability to recognize attainable educational and employment opportunities.
ROSE is a program of HoodLinc (Helping Out Others Develop Life in Neighbourhood Communities). Brian Henry is also the Executive Director of HoodLinc.