Budget 2012: Thousands More Youth To Have Access To Successful Role-Model Programs

Budget 2012: Thousands More Youth To Have Access To Successful Role-Model Programs

Mentoring Key to Success: Selinger

Thousands more Manitoba youth will have the opportunity to connect with positive role models through new funding announced in Budget 2012 for innovative programs that provide young people with outlets for their creativity and help them gain practical work experience, Premier Selinger announced today.

“Every parent wants their child to have the very best opportunities in life. And having the opportunity to learn from a good role model will help our children reach their full potential,” said Selinger. “We are working with exceptional partners in a wide variety of fields to make sure more children have the chance to be inspired, make the most of their skills and to find out what their true passion is.”

Manitoba Mentors connects youth with mentors from businesses, labour and not-for-profit organizations to help them explore career options. The province will provide an additional $255,000 to the program, more than doubling its current funding.

During the program’s first year, approximately 950 students benefited from the knowledge shared by employers through the Manitoba Mentors Speakers Bureau, 230 participated in employer group sessions and 70 students were matched with a mentor in their selected career areas. The program is projected to serve more than 1,500 students by the end of June 2013 and 2,500 students by 2014, the premier said.

One of the program’s partners, Manitoba-based business solution firm Protegra Business and Technology Solutions, was recently ranked as one of Canada’s best employers.

“Protegra is proud to help youth reach their potential through real life work experience with our employees,” said Wadood Ibrahi, Protegra’s CEO. “Manitoba Mentors’ staff uses Protegra’s Correlate cloud software to help match mentors and students. And now Correlate is used internationally by other youth-serving agencies.”

The Artists in Schools program will also receive an additional $200,000. This program brings artists, together with students and teachers through special residencies in schools around the province. In 2010-11, more than 200 Artists in the Schools and ArtsSmarts took place in Winnipeg, rural and northern schools, reaching more than 30,000 students. This new funding will help add up to 100 more residencies and will provide the potential for 10,000 more students, many in rural and northern schools, to access this unique mentorship program, Selinger said.

“The Manitoba Arts Council is very proud of its Artist in the Schools (AIS) program which brings together the unique vision and energy of artists with the creative potential of students and teachers across the province,” said Judith Flynn, chair, Manitoba Arts Council. “The program changes lives and keeps kids in school. This commitment to the growth and expansion of the AIS program recognizes that imagination is at the heart of innovation and healthy communities.”