Carizon and Pathways to Education in Kitchener launch pilot to reach more youth

July 26, 2018

Kitchener, ON: Based on the success of delivering Pathways to Education in Kitchener for the past 10 years, Carizon and Pathways to Education in Kitchener, with financial support from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, will launch a new pilot project to help prepare youth from low-income communities for tomorrow. 

Pathways to Education in Kitchener supports 600 youth each year from the Chandler Mowat and Kingsdale neighbourhoods, with the key objective of breaking the cycle of poverty by helping youth from low-income communities to graduate from high school and transition to post-secondary education, training, and meaningful employment. Pathways to Education offers an award-winning program that has resulted in measurable social change.

In 2017, a comprehensive evaluation of Pathways to Education in Kitchener was conducted. The report found that one-on-one support and relationships, as well as financial supports to help youth get to school and participate in community events significantly impacted the lives of Pathways students and their educational success. The report also found that students outside of the Chandler Mowat and Kingsdale neighbourhoods, as well as youth who are transitioning from Grade 8 to high school, could benefit from Pathways to Education programming. 

In response to these findings, Carizon and Pathways to Education in Kitchener have launched a new pilot, Youth Getting Connected, in partnership with local school boards, community partners, and elementary schools in two identified neigbourhoods—Victoria Hills and Centreville Chicopee—to support Grade 8 students who have been identified as being at-risk of not graduating from school. 

“Many of the things we take for granted every day can seem impossible for students who are struggling with issues of poverty, mental health or academic expectations,” says Debbie Engel, Carizon Director of Community Services. “The Youth Getting Connected project will address these barriers and build a foundation for their future.” 

“We celebrate our 10-year success of delivering the Pathways Program in this community,” says Tracy Elop, Carizon CEO. “We’ve seen graduation rates improve by 85% and know that we can build on our learnings, have an even greater impact and reach more youth thanks to the investment of our funders and our collaboration with the school boards and our partners.” 

“Core to Pathways to Education’s success is our commitment to exploring innovative ways to increase the number of youth who benefit from our programming,” says Sue Gillespie, President and CEO, Pathways to Education Canada. “We are proud to support Carizon to deliver the Pathways Program in Kitchener to build upon their decade of success and reach more youth.” 

Over the next several months, core program components will be established for Youth Getting Connected, with the goal of beginning to work with youth and their families in January 2019. 

If you would like more information, please contact Debbie Engel, Director of Community Services at [email protected], 519-743-6333. 


Carizon helps families thrive in their communities by strengthening their mental health and wellbeing. For more information, visit:


Pathways to Education is a national, charitable organization breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Its award-winning program is creating positive social change by supporting youth living in low-income communities to overcome barriers to education, graduate from high school, and build the foundation for a successful future. Through the collective power of partnerships, Pathways to Education’s innovative program is preparing youth for tomorrow. For more information, visit: