"A local program dedicated to helping students graduate high school is extending its reach to the Gibson and Landsdale neighbourhoods.
Program Director Brent Esau says since 2009 the Hamilton Community Health Centre has worked hard to eliminate barriers to success for students in low income neighbourhoods.
“We provide financial support, either bus tickets or lunch vouchers, even post secondary scholarships” says Esau.
There is also academic assistance in the form of mentoring and after school tutoring.
If a student has a goal in mind, Esau says program staff strive to help them meet it.
In the Keith and Bennetto neighbourhood this approach has transformed a 45 per cent high school drop out rate into an 85 per cent graduation rate.
Esau hopes the new site opening on Wentworth Street North will have the same success.
“The data we’ve seen shows the high school non-completion rate in this new area is about four times higher than the city average.”
In the next four to five years Esau hopes to see that change.
The new Pathways to Education site will bring in 60 grade 9’s for a total enrollment of 470 students."