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Empowering Youth Experiencing Homelessness: The Career Pathways Program

In a world filled with opportunities, it’s disheartening to know that many young people, despite their potential, find themselves experiencing homelessness. But at Covenant House, we believe in creating pathways to success.

Last year, in the Rights of Passage program, we launched a development pilot project called the Career Pathways program , funded by Covenant House International. This pilot project is designed to provide youth experiencing homelessness with suitable career pathways that will not only help them secure gainful employment, but also set them up for a brighter future.

The Vision Behind Career Pathways

Our vision for the Career Pathways Program is simple yet profound: to equip young individuals with the skills and certifications they need to access meaningful career opportunities, all without the requirements of a college degree. We understand that not every young person has the opportunity or means to pursue higher education, and we are committed to ensuring that they are not left behind in the ever-evolving job market and that they have a means to earn a living wage.

We are acutely aware of the challenges posed by automation in today’s workforce. To address this concern, our program focuses on industries with a low risk of job loss due to automation. This focus provides youth with a strong foundation for job security and long-term career growth.

Year One: A Focus on Information Technology

In the inaugural year of the Career Pathways Program, we set our sights on the booming field of information technology (IT), which is an ideal starting point for the young participants. Computers and connectivity are the lifeblood of the modern world, and there’s a significant demand for skilled IT professionals.

With the generous support of Covenant House International and our dedicated team of youth workers and life skills coordinator, six remarkable young people dedicated themselves to the program, and underwent specialized training, which earned them valuable certifications.

The Results: Empowered Youth

The hard work and dedication of our participants paid off in remarkable ways. Through their perseverance and the program’s resources, youth achieved professional certifications in several key areas of IT. These certifications included Data Analytics, IT Support, Salesforce, and Project Management.

These accomplishments are not just pieces of paper; they represent newfound confidence, skills, and hope for a brighter future. Armed with these certifications, our participants are now poised to enter the workforce with a competitive edge, which will open doors to meaningful careers and a path towards self-sufficiency.

Year Two: Building on Success

As we reflect on the success of the first year of the Career Pathways Program, we are excited to announce that the journey continues. The second year of this initiative is set to commence this spring. We eagerly anticipate the accomplishments of the next group of young individuals who will join us for this transformative journey.

At Covenant House Vancouver, we believe in the inherent potential of every young person, regardless of their circumstances. The Career Pathways Program exemplifies our commitment to providing tangible opportunities and resources to those who need them the most. With a focus on information technology and a dedication to equipping youth with the skills they need to succeed, we are helping to pave the way for a brighter future, one certification at a time.

As we embark on the second year of this exciting program, we are reminded that hope, resilience, and determination know no boundaries. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of the participants and continue to break down barriers to success, for youth experiencing homelessness. Together, we can build a future where every young person has the opportunity to thrive.