TORONTO — Pathways to Education Canada, a national charitable organization supporting students in low-income communities to graduate from high school, is pleased to announce the appointment of Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly as President and Chief Executive Officer.  

As a thought leader and social entrepreneur, Taylor-O’Reilly has dedicated the last two decades to facilitating transitions through education for diverse groups that fit outside of traditional systems by ensuring they have access to personalized learning tools, supports, and resources.  

Most recently, she led the creation of York University’s School of Continuing Studies, launched in 2015 to address Canada’s largest labour market gaps. Prior to joining York University, Tracey held leadership and teaching positions at McMaster University and currently serves as a Board member for Achēv. Tracey has been recognized for her leadership through a number of awards—in 2021 she was honoured with the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada award. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Tracey to the organization,” says Vince Mercier, Chair of Pathways to Education’s Board of Directors. “She has a deep understanding of the complex issues facing the students we serve, and her experience innovating to address the needs of underserved communities aligns perfectly with our vision to break the cycle of poverty through education.” 

The award-winning Pathways Program supports youth living in low-income communities through a comprehensive, results-focused approach and has a proven track-record of success and growth over 20 years. Building on positive findings from multiple independent reports, recent evaluations have shown that access to the Pathways Program increases annual earnings by 19 per cent, increases employment by 14 per cent, and reduces reliance on social assistance by more than a third. 

“Education is a great enabler that changes the trajectory of lives, families, and the generations that follow,” says Taylor-O’Reilly. “Pathways is a powerfully effective social innovation. Our biggest challenge ahead is to grow the Pathways Program in sustainable and measurable ways—I’m excited to build upon the organization’s strong relationships with communities and work alongside our staff, partners, and supporters to transform the lives of more young people across Canada with a focus on equitable, accessible, and individualized supports.” 

Tracey joins the organization as it embarks on a period of transformational growth, striving to bridge the opportunity gap by expanding and evolving the existing Pathways Program. Personalized student supports and centralized data will allow Pathways to Education to scale its impact, empowering more students living in low-income communities to overcome barriers to success and equip them with the skills and competencies they need to become the future workforce and leaders of tomorrow.   

You can learn more about Pathways to Education at 

Colleen Ryan
[email protected]
(416) 433-2455