Jerry wants to be a tech founder. It’s a dream he’s had since joining Pathways Vancouver in Grade 8. But for many students living in low-income communities, barriers to finishing high school create a gap between them and their dreams. Whether it’s a lack of connections, competing priorities, or financial pressures, Pathways focuses on these barriers with tailored supports to help close the gap.
Jerry’s now well on his way to making his dreams come true. He’s a third-year computer science student at Simon Fraser University, he’s won many scholarships, and will soon begin a co-op position with a Vancouver tech firm.
So how did Jerry overcome the barriers he faced? A few key relationships in the Pathways Program, diligence, and a lot of hard work. He connected with Pathways mentors who introduced him to different career possibilities and tutors, who were always happy to give advice while helping with his studies.
“Many Pathways tutors were just like us but a few years older. I got homework help, but I also got insight into fields I could go into. Maybe math, maybe the sciences, arts, or business. They could help because they were going through this themselves or had just gone through all of it.”
Those supports helped Jerry get through high school and take the next step toward his dream: post-secondary. The financial aid offered by Pathways helped, as did the support he received when applying for scholarships, like the distinguished Beedie Luminaries award he ended up winning. For Jerry, it’s another benefit of the relationships he built at Pathways—and his advice to current students is to make the most of them. “Get to know your mentors. It’s amazing how much they can teach you about opportunities you just didn’t know about.”
For youth in low-income communities, Pathways provides the resources and network of support to graduate from high school and build the foundation for a successful future. Your generosity provides vital funds to help make that possible.