Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief gets a lesson in drumming from the Peaceful Village Drummers, while announcing funding for the Bright Futures Program, which is helping over 2,500 low-income and new Canadian youth to succeed in high school and pursue college and university education
October 11, 2013
MANITOBA GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITY PARTNERS PREPARE THOUSANDS OF YOUTH FOR POST-SECONDARY SUCCESS
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Bright Futures Program Helps Former Refugee Students Overcome Hardship, Adjust to New Lives in Canada: Chief
The Manitoba Government and nine community partners are equipping about 2,500 low-income and new Canadian youth with skills and support to succeed in high school and continue their studies in college or university this year through the Bright Futures program, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announced today.
“I want every young person in this province to have the opportunity to be the best they can be at school and in their communities,” said Chief. “The partners we have in Bright Futures aren’t afraid to be adaptive and create programs that are showing staggering academic outcomes.”
One partner, Peaceful Village, provides refugee students tutoring in their first language along with access to cultural and recreational activities. The program has demonstrated success in improving students’ understanding of math, chemistry and other school subjects. The graduation rate for youth who participate in the program was 96 per cent last year.
“The teachers and community volunteers who prepare exciting learning activities are invaluable to helping students build their academic and English skills,” said Daniel Swaka, director, Peaceful Village. “And through this partnership, we also provide social and emotional support as students adjust to their new lives in Canada.”
The influence of the program is extended by encouraging the students’ families and caregivers to get involved in activities like community kitchens, family English language classes and family gardens. Students are also able to earn up to up to $1,000 per year for post-secondary education.
Now in its sixth year, the province is increasing funding to more than $4 million for Bright Futures partners. Other partnerships provide programs that range from money-management training to career exploration, cultural exchanges, and university and college campus day camps.
To get involved and for more information on Bright Futures programs, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/cyo/MobilePages/youth/leadership/brightfutures.html.