The organization is calling on Canadians to get involved and help #buildpathways for more than 300,000 Canadian youth currently at risk of dropping out of high school

Student in Hallway with the words "Our Future Depends on Their Education"

TORONTO, ON (September 16, 2019) – Research shows that*, if Canada increased its high school graduation rate by one per cent, the estimated savings to the economy would be more than $7.7 billion annually. Today, Pathways to Education—the national charitable organization breaking the cycle of poverty through education—announced its Build Pathways campaign, aimed at raising awareness around the number of youth who are at risk of dropping out of high school, and the associated socio-economic impact. 

“Every student deserves the opportunity to graduate from high school,” said Sue Gillespie, President and CEO, Pathways to Education Canada. “Pathways to Education provides students living in low-income communities with the tools they need to address barriers to education, graduate from high school, and realize their full potential. Our future depends on their education.”

Many don’t know that, while the high school dropout rate in Canada averages from 5–14 per cent, this number dramatically increases to 30–50 per cent in low-income communities across the country. However, Pathways to Education’s work has already helped improve graduation rates in low-income communities by up to an average of 85 per cent. Now, the organization is calling on Canadians to help close that gap even further.

Founded in 2001, Pathways to Education has supported more than 13,000 youth in low-income communities across the country. Through their award-winning program, the organization has made a significant impact:

  • 71 per cent of Pathways to Education students who graduated from high school have transitioned to post-secondary education or training, while others have transitioned to meaningful employment.
  • Every dollar invested in Pathways to Education creates a $24 social return on investment.
  • Participation in Pathways to Education increases adult annual earnings by 19 per cent, increases the likelihood of being employed by 14 per cent, and lowers reliance on social assistance by more than one-third.

“I’m not sure where I’d be today if I hadn’t found Pathways to Education,” said Kishan, high school graduate and former Pathways to Education student. “Pathways to Education staff became my role models—ones that understood the education system better than my family and I did and helped me navigate secondary and post-secondary education. Pathways to Education helped me determine the goals I wanted to set out for myself and how to achieve them. We need more people to realize the impact this has on the larger community.”

To learn more about Pathways to Education and help youth to graduate from high school and unlock their unlimited potential, visit Every donation is an investment in Canada’s future. Help #BuildPathways to success for all youth.

*Hankivsky, Simon Fraser University

About Pathways to Education
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. Visit to learn more.

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