For our latest feature on someone who makes a charitable choice in their everyday life we spoke with Kishan to find out more about Pathways to Education and how they help marginalized communities get the support they need to succeed in High School.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
Pathways to Education is a national charitable organization that provides youth from marginalized communities with the supports they need to succeed in high school. What that support looks like can be different for every student, and covers aspects like financial support, tutoring, and mentoring. Pathways to Education really helps to guide youth on a path to success—whether that be going to post-secondary education, training at an apprenticeship, or starting their career. As an alum of Pathways to Education, I know firsthand that their program really works. Pathways to Education truly is breaking the cycle of poverty through education, and I am very grateful for their support.
What problem does it aim to solve?
The reality is that not all youth in Canada are playing on a level field and, as a result, a significant number of high school students drop out every year. I know from personal experience that students growing up in marginalized communities all across the country often face significant barriers to education that can impact their chances of graduating from high school and achieving future success. When students don’t graduate, it not only impacts their own future potential, but can have negative consequences on their families, their communities, and Canada as a whole. Pathways to Education believes that all young people deserve an equal opportunity for success, and provide youth—like me—with the support they need to build pathways to success and become our country’s future leaders.
When did you join it?
I enrolled in Pathways to Education when I was in Grade 9, and they were a big source of support until I graduated in Grade 12 and went on to study in university. In fact, they remain a huge part of my life to this day as I feel it is an extension of my family. I even joined Pathways to Education as a staff member, so I could support students the way Pathways to Education supported me.
What made you want to get involved?
When I was in high school, my parents, who immigrated to Canada, were not familiar with the Canadian education system. Pathways to Education was always there to support my family and I by helping us navigate the education system, so I could succeed in high school and get into university. My experience with Pathways to Education is just one of the many ways that they are helping students all across the country to not only overcome barriers to education and graduate from high school, but to believe in themselves and become this country’s future leaders. I am proud to be a Pathways to Education alum, and I can’t wait to see what my peers and I achieve in the future.
What was the situation like when you started?
Before entering high school, I didn’t have a lot of adult role models that I could talk to about the challenges I was facing. But when I joined Pathways to Education, their staff became my mentors and offered me a strong support system. I always knew that I could talk to them about anything. They helped me develop a sense of belonging that has continued with me to this day. I still know that I can always count on Pathways to Education.
How has your life changed since?
Pathways to Education offered me a huge support system. They helped me determine what goals I wanted to set for myself and what I needed to do in order to achieve them.
After graduating from university, I started working at Pathways to Education, so I could help current students the way Pathways to Education helped me. Being able to give back by supporting students to succeed in school and navigate the school system meant a lot to me.
In the future, I hope to continue to support others in whatever capacity I can, and I’m now enrolled at Ryerson University, studying for my Bachelor’s of Social Work.
What more needs to be done?
Many people in Canada are not aware of the barriers to education that youth from low-income communities face, which can limit their chances of graduating from high school. Pathways to Education is making a difference for high school students every day, but there are thousands of young Canadians that could benefit from their support. I know that Pathways to Education’s program works and that it could help these students, but they need more support. If you believe that all young people should have an equal opportunity to success, visit BuildPathways.ca to learn how you can take action.
How can our readers help?
Visit BuildPathways.ca to learn more about Pathways to Education and its work helping students realize their potential, and consider making an investment in Canada’s future.
Where can we follow you?
I’d encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with the work that Pathways to Education is doing by following them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You can also learn more about their work at BuildPathways.ca.