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60 African-Canadian students travel to Ottawa to celebrate Black History Month - A new initiative provides financial support to teenagers to attend Canada’s largest youth forum
OTTAWA, February 3, 2009 - Pathways to Education Canada and Historica - Encounters with Canada (EWC) have partnered to offer African-Canadian high school students from Ontario the chance to attend one of four EWC theme weeks during February to celebrate Black History Month.
These students will have a unique chance to explore their nation's capital, learn about Canadian institutions, open their eyes to new Canadian experiences and develop their citizenship and leadership skills with a cross-Canada delegation of up to 138 young people. Moreover, during the month of February, EWC participants will celebrate the contributions and achievements made by the African-Canadians in building our country through special activities and forums.
Pathways to Education is contributing $12,000 towards alleviating student fees, while Encounters with Canada is giving $25,000. The 60 students chosen for this initiative are of African-Canadian descent and are between the ages of 14 and 17 years.
"The new partnership between Encounters with Canada and Pathways to Education Canada gives the opportunity to African-Canadian students, who without this help would not have the chance, to experience something truly unique." said Eric Saxton, EWC Director of Recruitment and Transportation. "It allows them to learn more about their country and their national capital, but most importantly, learn more about themselves - allowing them to discover and unlock their unlimited potential."
The two organizations share common beliefs in which:
• Children are our future;
• Education is the cornerstone of child development;
• Cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity is a fundamental component of our Canadian identity;
• Equal opportunity should be given to all children for their economic development.
Pathways to Education is a charitable organization created to reduce poverty and its effects by lowering the high school dropout rate and increasing access to post-secondary education among disadvantaged youth in Canada. Encounters with Canada is a one-week program held at Ottawa's Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre. EWC brings together young Canadians of all regions and cultures, encouraging them to discover themselves and their history. Through sharing their stories with one another, this program encourages students to become engaged citizens who are proud of their country.