A community organization in Winnipeg is changing lives by helping at-risk youth succeed in and beyond the classroom.
Dorian grew up in Winnipeg’s West Central neighbourhood, a community tied to one of the most marginalized postal codes in the country.
In high school, drug and alcohol abuse distracted many of his friends from achieving their full potential. He watched as his peers began “slipping away” from the education system. He also found himself distracted and falling behind in his studies as he struggled with a difficult situation at home.
Two years ago, he was introduced to the Spence Neighbourhood Association (Spence) Homework Club. The Homework Club is designed to provide accessible support and mentorship to at-risk youth, enabling them to succeed in and beyond the classroom. During the after-school program, Dorian was able to catch up on his school work with the help of a mentor.
“We know kids in this neighbourhood don’t always have the same opportunities as others,” says Jamil Mahmood, Executive Director at Spence. “The education system doesn’t work for everyone, especially in the inner-city. We can’t change the system overnight, but we can impact how youth relate to it.”
With grant funding from the TELUS Manitoba Community Board, Spence was able to expand their Homework Club program and mentor more youth who were excited to take control of their education and futures.
"By providing a small incentive or support to a child, we can change their life. We have hundreds of stories about kids who have gone through our programs and are now doing amazing things. All it took was one person who cared enough to make a difference."