SUDBURY—On Friday, March 4, youth who are in the care of the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin and Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services experienced a motivating and eye-opening day at Cambrian College, as they learned about post-secondary education choices and career possibilities. The education conference, called “Explore Your Possibilities Day,” focused on inspiring participants to succeed in high school, and college or university.
Explore Your Possibilities Day was organized by the Crown Ward Education Championship Team, which is made up of two local child protection agencies, local school boards, post-secondary institutions, and community partners who work collaboratively to enhance the wellbeing of children in care.
“This education conference was created to address the unique circumstances and educational needs of these students, recognizing that they deserve strong support and guidance as they complete secondary school and explore their post-secondary options,” said Jean Brown, who is one of the founding members of the Crown Ward Education Championship Team, and Dean of Cambrian College’s Schools of Justice; Community Services; and General Studies.
“Success in school requires goal-setting, planning, motivation, and plenty of self-confidence,” Brown continued. “This day-long conference gave the participants an opportunity to imagine themselves as college or university students. They were able to explore fields of study through interactive workshops, take tours, and learn about personal, academic, and financial support services offered to post-secondary students.”
Tiffany Pollock is a 22-year former crown ward whose dedication to her own success proves that anything is possible. The Social Service Worker student is set to graduate from Cambrian College this spring with her second diploma. She previously earned an advanced diploma in Child and Youth Care and is working part-time at a group home while attending college.
Pollock plans to begin a degree program at Ryerson University once she graduates and says that through her post-secondary journey, she realized that “it doesn’t matter what your family history is, or where you come from. You have the same potential as anyone else.” She hopes to deliver that message to future generations of young people that she encounters through her career, which was made possible through post-secondary education.
Youth in care come from a variety of backgrounds, but many of them experience life events that create barriers to educational success, and that draw their attention away from school or planning post-secondary studies.
Members of the Crown Ward Education Championship Team work collaboratively to enhance graduation and success rates for children and youth in care. The Team is comprised of representatives from:
- Cambrian College
- Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Sudbury-Manitoulin
- Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin
- Collége Borèal
- Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario
- Conseil scolaire du grand nord de l’Ontario
- Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services
- Laurentian University
- Rainbow District School Board
- Sudbury Catholic District School Board
- YMCA of Sudbury
(705) 566-8101, ext. 6375