Each year, thousands of Canadian youth will drop out of high school. This seemingly simple and personal act alters the course of their lives forever. It’s a move that costs them their education and future earning potential. Taken collectively, it costs their community by ingraining a culture of failure. Nationally, it costs our economy through a reduced employment pool and tax base, and an enormous strain on public expenditures.
Tens of thousands of youth in Canada’s lower-income neighbourhoods have the potential to succeed in school but are unable to overcome the barriers to education that are created by poverty. Insufficient financial means, lack of positive role models in the community, absence of parental support, and integration into a new country and culture are just some of the barriers that can make high school graduation seem like an impossible dream.