Empowering Youth with Meaningful Skills to Inspire their Future Careers
A new program took place at Camp Merrywood and Camp Woodeden this past summer.
The Easter Seals – RBC 21st Century Skills and Leadership Program funded by the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch was designed to benefit Easter Seals youth between the ages of 15 and 29 in Ontario as well as those in British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia. The program empowers youth with physical disabilities by providing opportunities of practical work experience, volunteer prospects, meaningful skills development, coaching, training and mentoring to achieve future success in the jobs of tomorrow.
“Whether it’s retraining or starting fresh, it’s clear that the skills needed to excel in today’s workplace are changing,” said Mark Beckles, Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation, RBC. “That’s what RBC Future Launch is all about, and through our partnership with Easter Seals Ontario, we hope to enable young people to identify, articulate and build their skills—and help young Canadians develop them.”
“Easter Seals prides itself on serving youth and children with physical disabilities to realize their full potential and help them succeed as they continue to grow as individuals,” said Kevin Collins, President & CEO at Easter Seals Ontario. “The Easter Seals – RBC 21st Century Skills and Leadership Program is a wonderful partnership with RBC Foundation that will help to identify barriers youth with physical disabilities are facing while giving them the opportunity to gain experience and build skills that are critical for success in life and their futures.”
Building upon the success of a similar pilot program in 2018, which has fostered 21st century skills such as leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, communication, networking, flexibility, cultural awareness, financial literacy, and digital and media literacy, the Easter Seals – RBC 21st Century Skills and Leadership Program will also help youth with physical disabilities focus on their abilities, rather than their limitations.
RBC Future Launch is a ten-year, $500 million commitment to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. With a focus on networking, skills development, practical work experience and mental well-being supports and services, the initiative aims to help break down the barriers facing young people.
About Easter Seals Ontario
For the past 96 years, Easter Seals Ontario has offered programs and services to help children and youth with physical disabilities from all ethnic and religious backgrounds achieve a greater level of acceptance and independence. Easter Seals Ontario provides children and youth with physical disabilities with programs and services, including funding for essential mobility and accessibility equipment as well as opportunities to attend their fully accessible summer camps. Easter Seals also owns and operates two fully accessible camp properties, Camp Woodeden in London and Camp Merrywood near Perth, Ontario, and is recognized as an industry leader in providing specialized camping and recreation programs for kids with physical disabilities. For more information or to donate, visit EasterSeals.org.