Engaged Immigrant Youth
The Engaged Immigrant Youth Program is dedicated to working with school communities to support youth to stay in school and improve their chances of pursuing meaningful employment and educational opportunities.
Download the Engaged Immigrant Youth Program brochure (also available in Tagalog) to refer a youth or if you are a youth and are interested in learning more.
Youth who move to Canada as older teens face a number of challenges which may prevent them from connecting fully with their school and community. These challenges include learning English, the complexities of a new culture, the demands of school work, and making new friendships at school.
The Engaged Immigrant Youth program targets immigrant youth in grades 10, 11 and 12 attending VSB schools. New immigrant and refugee youth in these grades are often at risk for not completing secondary school due to their lack of engagement with their school.
Students in the program come from different backgrounds including those new to the Vancouver school system and youth who have been in Canada for several years but are having difficulty staying in school.
At present the program serves 90 youth through four secondary schools: Sir Winston Churchill, John Oliver, Gladstone and David Thompson Secondary school.
The program provides opportunities for students to participate in activities during lunch time, after school and weekends. Youth workers help the students to improve their English skills and build leadership skills while enjoying recreational and cultural activities with their peers. At the same time the program aims to help youth develop the confidence and skills needed to complete their academic goals including achieving a high school diploma.
Key to the success of the program is the small class size (15 students or less) allowing youth workers to give one-on-one support to the students and for youth to feel comfortable in sharing their experiences.
A weekly homework club is held at the District Reception and Placement Centre (DRPC) and each of the participating schools hold activities twice a week. They also offer tutoring and trauma counseling which is important in achieving personal goals.
Students are referred to the program when registering as new students with the DRPC, through the Settlement Workers in School (SWIS) and Multicultural Liaison workers in their schools, or by teachers and ESL department heads. Youth can also enroll with their parent’s consent.
Download the Engaged Immigrant Youth 2011-2012 Year End Brief report for an overview of program achievements in the 2011-2012 school year.
EIYP at Churchill works with CBC to highlight the experience of immigrant youth making friends in high school: http://www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/episodes/2012/05/28/ethnic-enclaves-in-high-school/
EIYP at David Thompson works with the Canadian Red Cross and REEL Youth to develop this Claymation on anti-bullying. This video was also showcased as part of the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0PDy_Rxdag
Our Youth Are:
Our Youth Are Dealing With:
For more information on the program contact:
Jennifer's Bio - I love to work with young people because they are creative and inspiring, this is what drives me to work with the Engaged Immigrant Youth Program (EIYP). I enjoy building relationships with young people in order to help them build thier confidence, discover their talents, and explore their future selves. There are so many opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of as a Canadian including studying abroad to obtain a Masters degree to help me develop programs for communities. I hope to guide other young people to take advantage of the same opportunities that I did!
Adrian's Bio - Inspiring young people to achieve their dreams has always been my passion. For over 10 years of working with youth, I have always been amazed seeing the diverse talents and skill that each youth possessed and developed. I have a background in counselling and mentoring from the Philippines. In addition, I have completed the Career Development Practice Certificate from Douglas College in 2011. I count it as a privilege to be able to use my training, skills and experience to support immigrant youth flourish and thrive in Canada.
Gerson's Bio - My name is Gerson Reyes, I am American born, Canadian raised, and inspried by my Nicaraguan roots. My multicultural experience has helped me in my work for the past 2 years as a Youth and Family Worker in the Engaged Immigrant Youth Program. I have been working with the VSB for the past 7 years in various capacities. I have a diploma in Child and Youth Care, and currently completing my Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care. I feel a calling to be in this field, its where I am my best and most comfortable. I have the amazing opportunity to meet the most amazing young people from across the world through my work. I continue to be inspired by the resiliency that these youth are able to demonstrate time and time again.
Engaged Immigrant Youth office is located at District Reception and Placement Centre
1000 East 59th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V5X 1Y7