The Greater Essex County District School Board has joined the Windsor Residence for Young Men to offer a program for all young people at risk in the community to avoid homelessness and rebuild their lives.
The Youth Independence Program is a classroom-based curriculum that will teach life skills to young people, ages 16-24, regardless of gender, to make them self-reliant. Through the collaboration with the GECDSB participants will receive a high school credit upon completion of the course and educational guidance throughout the 3 months they are in the program. The students will have to attend a 2 hour class 5 days a week to earn the credit in the course, which is called Designing a Future. It's being overseen by the staff of the Board's Public Alternative Secondary School (P.A.S.S.).
This program is preventative in nature, says WRYM Program Director, Jason Weinberg, " it will provide young people with useful skills before an actual crisis occurs and we are thankful that our partnership with the GECDSB will help at-risk youth get the education they need for success."
Superintendent of Education for Student Success, Josh Canty noted that, "we are always seeking new and different ways to connect with young people who, for whatever reason, have not completed at least their secondary school educations. This is a great opportunity to motivate them to do just that."
There are already 7 students enrolled in the program. It will run all year and it can be started at any time. Green Shield Canada along with the WindsorEssex Community Foundation have provided a grant of $26,186 to support the development and operation of the Youth Independence Program.