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Focus on Youth Helps HWDSB Students Kickstart their Summer Job Search

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Focus on Youth Helps HWDSB Students Kickstart their Summer Job Search

Are you an HWDSB student looking to learn new skills, boost your resume, and meet new people?FOY Logo

If so, Focus on Youth might be for you!

Focus on Youth is a summer work program for Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Students ages 16-21 as of July 2, 2024. Successful applicants are placed with community organizations for an eight-week paid summer employment experience.

We sat down with Madeleine Krusto, the Focus on Youth 2024 Program Lead, to learn more about this fantastic program.

Tell us more about Focus on Youth!

Maddie: It kind of works like a co-op program, in a way – students apply for a spot in ourStudents in FOY program program, and then we offer 100 placements all across Hamilton in partnership with community organizations, non-profits, and charities that are doing community programming. We look at what students are interested in, what their goals are for the summer, and we look at the placements that we have on offer, and then we place students with an organization for an eight-week employment term.

How do you decide where to place students for the summer?

We try to place them with organizations that they don’t have a previous relationship with – we want to give new opportunities and experiences. We also want students to learn about their own community, so we also try to place them within their own neighbourhoods. We place students with at least one other Focus on Youth student, and we try to place them with students from different schools, just to give them the opportunity to build those relationships and meet new people.

What sort of organizations are students placed with?

Students in FOY programThere are so many! We have three different streams of placements – the biggest one is Community Agency, which is basically any job working with kids, including summer camps or daycares. There’s the Community Connectedness stream, which is focused on jobs like working with seniors in retirement or care homes, working with adults with exceptionalities, or working with community gardens or food banks. The last one is in partnership with HWDSB Learning Camps, when students are placed with a teacher in a classroom and support them. They might help with snack, or are in charge of the “Brain Break” games and activities – so, still working with kids, but in different setting. A lot of those students that we place in that stream will tell us that they have goals of becoming a teacher or an ECE, so we try to give them that opportunity.

We also make sure that students have everything they need for their placements – we cover a lotStudents in FOY program of costs for students. So, if they need a police check, we support them in that process and also cover that cost. Some placements require students to get the two-step TB test, so we help them organize those appointments and cover those costs as well. If they need a Presto Card, we give them a fully-loaded card for the summer with enough funds to cover their commute.

Do you need any previous work experience to apply?

No! That’s really what this program is about. It’s for students who are enthusiastic, and have goals for the summer, and want a first-time job experience in a setting that is supportive. It also pays well – it’s $17.20 an hour. It’s a really wonderful opportunity!

Thank you so much for sharing insights into Focus on Youth, Maddie!

Applications for Focus on Youth are open now – the deadline to apply is Friday, May 31. Find applications here: https://www.hwdsb.on.ca/secondary/get-involved/focus-on-youth/

Focus on Youth Applicant Requirements:

  • Must be 16 to 21 years of age as of July 2, 2024
  • Must commit to work from July 2 to August 23, 2024
  • Must have been registered in an HWDSB program in 2023/24
  • Must have an up-to-date resume 3 Professional/Teacher References – can be volunteer-related
  • Must have a valid social insurance number and a bank/chequing account
  • Will be required to pass a criminal record check if over the age of 18 (costs provided by the program)

For application questions or support please contact:

Phone: 905-527-5092 ext. 2364

Email: [email protected]

Be sure to follow @focusonyouth_hwdsb on Instagram for updates.

Updated on Monday, May 06, 2024.
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