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Focus on Youth

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Last updated on Monday, February 27, 2017.

Program Overview

Every summer since 2008, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has partnered with not-for-profit groups through the Focus on Youth program to support them in delivering free or low cost summer programs and activities that keep young people safe and active.

Programs and activities are focused on:

  • literacy and numeracy
  • sports and recreation
  • culture and the arts
  • leadership development and mentorship
  • programs targeted at meeting the needs of specific populations (e.g. newcomer children, street-involved and homeless youth)

Program Objectives

Our goal is to enhance high quality summer program opportunities for children and youth throughout Hamilton by:

  1. offering free use of school space for organized, community-based programs
  2. improving the quality of life for children and youth in high and moderate needs communities who otherwise would have limited access to organized summer programming
  3. providing employment opportunities for youth in Hamilton with a focus on hiring and supporting the employment experiences of “at-risk” youth
  4. providing leadership training and learning opportunities for youth employed within the program
  5. strengthening collaborative efforts with community partners to build capacity to support children, youth and families in our high and moderate needs school neighbourhoods
  6. providing as many free program opportunities as possible for children and youth in Hamilton

Student Employees:

The application period for student employee participation in Focus on Youth 2017 will open on April 10. If you have questions or concerns regarding an application, please contact us at focusonyouth@hwdsb.on.ca or 905.527.5092, ext. 2364.

Student Employee Qualifications:

  • must be 16 to 21 years of age as of June 17, 2017
  • must have been registered in an HWDSB program in 2016-17
  • interest or talents in one or more of the following areas:
    • sports
    • arts/crafts
    • school community leadership
    • gardening
    • music/drama/dance
    • cultural activities
    • caretaking
    • technology
  • must be able to commit to work on:
    • June 17
    • June 24
    • June 30-August 11 (weekdays, not including Canada Day and the Civic Holiday)
  • 30 to 40 hours per week (varies by site)

Community Agencies:

Focus on Youth supports community agencies through the use of space and/or student employee support. Community agencies will be notified about their approval for participation in Focus on Youth by the end of May and when funding has been confirmed with the Ministry of Education. Focus on Youth 2017 will run for six weeks from July 4 until August 11.

For more information on Focus on Youth 2017:

For more information, please contact focusonyouth@hwdsb.on.ca or 905.527.5092, ext. 2364

Program Administration

Leadership: Superintendent of Leadership & Learning – Sharon Stephanian | Supervisor of Engagement – Mike Des Jardins

Coordinator: Community Engagement Specialist – Sarah Tracz

Program Staff: 1 Student Leadership Development Lead | 4 Project Monitors | 1 Support Staff (Post-Secondary Student)

Board Collaboration: Support and resources contributed by Accommodation & Planning, Community & Continuing Education, Corporate Communications, E-Best Research, Early Learning & Child Care, Equity, Executive Council, Facilities Management, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Programs & Assessment, Special Education

Note: The Focus on Youth Program runs pending confirmation of funding from the Ministry of Education.

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