$500,000 Investment Supports Scarborough Program to Address Youth Unemployment and Promote Self-Reliance
Naomi Gichungu
Sep 20, 2023

Northpine Foundation has announced a significant investment of $500,000 in the Youth LEAPS’ Learn2Work initiative to tackle the issue of unemployment and loss of self-sufficiency among youth in Scarborough, Ontario.

About half of the almost 6,000 youth on social assistance programs in Scarborough do not have the educational credentials to meet employer demands. They end up in unstable jobs and experience limited wage growth, leading to a cycle of gaining and losing self-sufficiency between short-term employment stints.

Learn2Work aims to address the challenges faced by these individuals to help them complete their GED (General Education Diploma) and access sustainable employment, by providing learning, working, and employment training modules.

YouthLEAPS have found that each additional month of employment provides significant benefits to the youth through increased earnings, and to the federal and provincial governments through reduced social assistance costs.

“Meeting basic needs and finding meaningful work has become increasingly difficult for many people today. For youth without a GED, this additional barrier to access long-term employment opportunities makes the challenge even greater. Our partnership with Youth LEAPS will empower Scarborough youth who are on social assistance and lack a GED. We will assist them with the support they need to obtain their GED and secure and maintain employment for at least eight months,” said Naomi Gichungu, Impact Director – Scarborough at the Northpine Foundation. We believe the Learn2Work program can foster self-reliance and bring positive social and economic outcomes to participants and the community.”

This project aims to demonstrate that investing in creating pathways to sustainable employment yields social and economic returns for the community, by ensuring that fewer youth are reliant on social assistance — opening upavenues for expansion and replication in other communities.

“We are thrilled to receive the generous investment from the Northpine Foundation for our Learn2Work initiative. This support will allow us to provide educational credentials and access to meaningful skills development and pave the path to sustainable employment, empowering these young individuals to break free from the cycle of instability,” said Liban Abakor, Executive Director at YouthLEAPS. “This investment is a testament to the belief that investing in our youth creates pathways to a brighter future and bringing positive social and economic outcomes to both participants and the community at large.”

With this investment in Youth LEAPS, Northpine reiterates the commitment to driving positive social change in Scarborough. This collaboration has the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable youth, providing them with the support and resources needed to secure sustainable employment and build a thriving future.

Learn more about YouthLEAPS work here and see the Northpine Foundation’s investments in Scarborough here.