The Youth Opportunities Strategy is a provincial initiative funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. The strategy is an umbrella in which 5 programs have been developed. The 5 programs are the Summer Jobs for Youth Program, the Youth Outreach Worker Program, Youth and Policing, a School Based Diversions Program and the Youth Connect on line resource. New Beginnings is the lead agency for two of these initives; The Summer Jobs for Youth Program and Youth Outreach Worker Program. We are currently entering into our fourth year leading these programs. In 2009, New Beginnings added a third component to the Youth Opportunities Strategy, the Employment and Life Skills Program. The mission of the Youth Opportunities Strategy is to provide opportunities to our youth for them to realize their full potential and become active, productive members of our community.
For many young people, adolescence is a very challenging time. Many face challenges like never before and many don’t know where to turn for support. The Youth Outreach Program assists youth in overcoming barriers by connecting them to the resources already established in their communities. Often, one of the main issues facing youth is not knowing of the services available and/or not knowing how to access the services. The Youth Outreach Program focuses on youth aged 12-21 years old living in one of the four priority neighbourhoods in Windsor.
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services conducted research in the Windsor area in 2006 which identified four communities as being underserved. The communities identified each had unique barriers that made them “priority neighbourhoods” as these locations face the most significant barriers for youth to be successful. The four priority neighbourhoods that the New Beginnings Youth Opportunities Strategy is mandated to service are Sandwich Town, City Centre, Drouillard and Forest GladeYouth Outreach Workers
In Windsor, one Youth Outreach Worker (Y.O.W) have been assigned to each of the priority neighbourhoods. Each Outreach Worker works from a host location in the heart of their neighborhoods where they are better able to connect with local youth. The four outreach workers are experts on their communities; they spend a significant amount of time in their priority locations partnering with local resources and youth. Youth Outreach Workers engage youth in their assigned communities and connect them with needed services, as well as collaborate with other community resources to coordinate youth activities within the identified neighbourhoods. Youth can connect with their Youth Outreach Worker on any variety of concerns or needs and it is the Y.O.W’s duty to assist youth in gaining appropriate support and resources they need to overcome their barriers.What kinds of things can a youth go to a Y.O.W for?
The simple answer is ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!
Each priority neighbourhood has established neighbourhood councils which are made up of a diverse group of local community partners. Members of the neighborhood councils work together collaboratively to improve their community, support the development of new and positive initiatives and connect youth with necessary resources around them.
Each priority neighbourhood has established youth councils which are made up of local teens who want to make a positive impact on their community. Youth council members can gain leadership experience, volunteer hours, learn new skills and gain confidence while contributing to their communities. If you are interested in joining a youth council, please call your youth outreach worker to find out how to join today.
The Youth Outreach Program hosts a variety of unique events in each of the designated neighbourhoods throughout the year for youth to participate in. We run afterschool programs including homework support, employment workshops, life skills groups, recreational activities including yoga, basketball, boxing, volleyball and hockey tournaments, graffiti events, cooking classes, girls groups, ice skating, barbershop and haircut day, movie nights, block parties and much more. Every event is free and open to youth aged 12-21 years old.
Summer Jobs for Youth Program (SJFY) is an initiative of the Youth Opportunities Strategy, funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. It was established to address factors that place youth at increased risk of engaging in anti-social behaviour and/or violence. The Summer Jobs for Youth Program is intended to give youth who reside in pre-identified underserved/"priority" neighbourhoods an opportunity to develop employment skills and obtain safe and positive employment experiences.
This program provides young people who are 15 – 18 years of age with summer job opportunities so they can get real work experience. The program is geared to youth who want to have their first job experience. It includes six weeks of paid employment in an area that matches their future career interest. As part of the program, youth receive
pre-employment job readiness training that includes workplace certifications such as First Aid, CPR and WHMIS training and post-employment resume and interview support. In addition to gaining employment experience, participants have the opportunity to gain cooperative education credits to go towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. This program is open to youth living with one of the following postal codes;
Sandwich Towne- Postal Code "N9C"
City Centre- Postal Code "N9A"
Drouillard Road Area- Postal Code "N8Y"
Forest Glade- Postal Code "N8R"
University - Postal Code "N9B"
New Beginnings first launched the Summer Jobs for Youth program in Windsor in 2007. The program was initially funded for 180 full time equivalent positions. In 2009 the Ministry expanded the program by providing an additional 60 full-time equivalent positions, the program is now able provide more than 240 youth with meaningful full-time and part-time job opportunities every summer. This program is a fully subsidized program that is truly a win-win for employers and young people. Across the city, 123 local businesses and agencies from both the private and public sectors participate in the program. This diversity allows New Beginnings to better match youth with employers whose field of service match the youths future career interests.
The Job Readiness Program allows youth to gain the specialized skills they need to be successful in the working world. The program aims at assisting youth in preparing for their futures as young adults. There are three branches to this program that youth can participate in;
Branch #1- Job Readiness Workbook
Youth can participate in the Cognitive Behavioural Job Readiness Program. This is a six-week program that takes approximately 1.5hrs to complete per session; youth receive a workbook, which guides them through 6 modules of job readiness. This program is geared towards youth looking for additional assistance gaining information about the working world and some guidance into a future career path.
Branch #2- Individualized Programming
This branch is geared towards youth who are interested working one on one with staff in developing resumes, cover letters, interview skills and the do’s and don’ts of the workplace. The work begins with developing an action plan where the youth outline what they would like to get out of the program. Staff develop a specialized plan of action to meet their needs.
Branch #3- Group Presentation
The Job Readiness Program can be done in groups in the community for our local partners. Any community partner including schools, community programs and after school program can request a workshop on a variety of topics. The Employment and Life Skills Worker will present with handouts and PowerPoint’s in the community to prepare youth with employment skills and refer them to a variety of different program to increase their skills and qualifications.
The Youth Opportunities strategy has created a brand new Dress for Success Program located at 1049 Janette Ave. Our goal is to assist youth in making a great first impression by providing youth with professional business attire. ANY youth between the ages of 12-21 years old can participate in the Job Readiness Program through New Beginnings and get FREE business clothing in order to make a good first impression during an interview. We have a variety of sizes and styles for both males and females. Call your Youth Outreach Worker or the Employment/Life Skills Worker today!
The Life skills program at New Beginnings enables youth to gain the specialized life skills they need to grow into successful young adults. The Youth Opportunities Strategy utilizes the ARISE Evidence Based Life Skills programming which is taught using hands on techniques that allows youth to get interactive in order to remember the skills they have learned. This program covers a wide range of lessons to meet any youth’s needs. The following are a list of life skills topics that are available.
Life Skills Topics;
Health and Hygiene
Branch #1- Group Learning Youth have the opportunity to join the Cooking Program. This group is an on-going / open program . There should be a range between 5-15 people in each group.
Branch #2- Individualized Programming This branch is geared towards youth who are interested in participating in the program one on one, selecting one or a few of the above topics. The work begins with developing a Roadmap where the youth outline what they would like to get out of the program, staff then develops a plan of action to meet their needs.
Branch #3- Group Presentation The Life Skills Program can be done in groups out in the community for our local partners. Any community partner including schools, community programs and after school program can request a workshop on any variety of topics listed above. The Employment and Life Skills Worker will present with handouts and/or PowerPoint’s in the community to give youth
1049 Janette location every Monday Night 4-5, open to all youth between the ages of 12-21, both males and females who are expecting or who have a child. This program is 8 weeks in duration.
CAS Transition to independent living skills groups are for CAS youth ages 15-21 who are transitioning to independent living. Groups run Thursday's from 4 pm to 6 pm for 10 weeks. Program is located at 1049 Janette.
Every Thursday Night at 1049 Janette Avenue, from 3:30 to 5:30 for youth ages 12-21 who are looking to gain independent living skills. Volunteer hours are also provided. Contact and Employment & Life Skills Worker to sign up.Host Locations
Youth Opportunities Strategy
Youth Outreach Worker-Toni Soldevilla
Youth Outreach Worker - Ben Irwin
Youth Outreach Worker - Katie Embree
Youth Outreach Worker -Cassandra Legault