A $50,000 RBC Foundation grant was presented to the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Foundation (WECAF) for the implementation of a one year pilot project at a ceremony on Thursday, March 21st in Leamington. The grant will fund “Capturing a Future Through Life Opportunities, Leadership & Experience”.
Many youth involved with the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society (WECAS) have significant challenges such as mental health, social isolation, poverty, and in most cases, lack of support systems. This program for selected Essex County youth, ages 14-18 would focus on providing mentorship, introductions to basic skills and knowledge required for youth to function and thrive in a work environment. This element of the program will be provided by The Bridge, a centre in Leamington that provides a wraparound service under one roof for youth. Highline Mushrooms will then accept these youth for a practical and hands on work experience via co-op employment placements at their Essex County facilities.
“We’re excited to be working with the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Foundation to deliver on the promise of RBC Future Launch”, said David Ochs, Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, RBC. “RBC Future Launch is a decade-long commitment to helping Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. We are committed to acting as a catalyst for change, bringing government, educators, public sector and not-for-profits together to co-create solutions to help young people better prepare for the future of the work through “human skills” development, networking, work experience, and mental well-being supports.”
Derrick Drouillard, Executive Director of WECAS comments, “We are very grateful to RBC and their commitment to youth through RBC Future Launch. The youth that WECAS serves who will benefit from this program have experienced many challenging circumstances. Looking outside the box at an innovative concept such as this grant represents, provides real hope for breaking down stigmas and building self-esteem and confidence. The skill training and employment placements will provide tools to build foundations for brighter tomorrows.”