Youth Initiatives · Thursday, October 8, 2015

Taking real steps to reverse the drop-out rate

Youth Fusion

A mission created from the needs of young people

Reversing the drop-out rate by engaging young students is the mission of Youth Fusion, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 whose projects are already in place in close to 80 schools across Quebec, including in Inuit and First Nations communities in northern Quebec.

In the year preceding the organization's inception, a team criss-crossed the province to survey Quebec youth. The answer to the question “What would you like to see happen in your school in order for you to stay engaged and motivated?” was clear.

The high school students wanted activities that truly spoke to them and mentors who would be regularly available to guide and advise them, throughout the school year, for several hours each week. And so Youth Fusion was born – and its two-fold mission as well!

The high school students wanted activities that truly spoke to them and mentors who would be regularly available to guide and advise them, throughout the school year, for several hours each week. And so Youth Fusion was born – and its two-fold mission as well!

How does it work?

Youth Fusion recruits university students to work as coordinators in elementary and high schools in order to implement and support projects related to their area of study. These projects motivate the younger students to reach for greater personal achievement and dedicate themselves to their studies in order to succeed in school. During the school year, these university students (or recent university graduates) work with students between 10 and 15 hours a week in projects connected to the fashion industry, environmental design, film, arts and culture, science, video games and robotics.

A new entrepreneurship component will be launched at the start of the 2015 school year in order to educate elementary and high school students on how to start a business. The program will allow them to create an actual or theoretical business and to learn more about the notions related to entrepreneurship.

Discover also : A social entrepreneur working to improve the drop-out rate

Pride taken in accomplishments

“Everyone wins, as well as the mentors, who are able to get their first job connected to their area of study, and the students struggling in school, who attain a sense of accomplishment previously unknown to them,” says Sarah Houde, Executive Director of the Montreal-based organization.

Ms. Houde has a ton of heart-warming success stories. “Recently in Henri-Bourassa, the youth involved in special education proudly presented eight workshops during the presentations for the last day of the school year: a garage, a restaurant, a hair salon, etc. Two weeks before the event, the rate of absenteeism was zero, while normally it’s 70%! They've gone from being negative and unmotivated to becoming excited and engaged. This is just one of many confirmations that the program is working.”

Want to learn more?

Read The Story of Gabriel Bran Lopez, Youth Fusion's founder, on Devenir entrepreneur

Visit Youth Fusion's website

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