Mission statement

Youth Futures supports post-secondary participation among low income high school students in Ottawa through leadership development, employment experience, and post-secondary orientation, in order to create successful futures and build strong communities.

There is no cost to participate in the program.

Leadership Training     

The goal: To build participants confidence, skill-set and ability to succeed in university or college and give participants the necessary tools for them to become leaders in their communities.

A comprehensive 10 week program given by certified Leadership Instructors from the City of Ottawa’s Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department and Employment Specialists from the City of Ottawa, Community and Social Services Department.

Training topics include:

  • Leadership games
  • Communication
  • Resume Preparation
  • Interview Skills
  • Also includes certificate training
  • High Five
  • Level C CPR
  • First Aid
  • AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)


The goal: To give participants the opportunity to gain 6 weeks of employment experience, developing skills and earning money towards their post-secondary education.

Summer employment is not guaranteed and is only provided to participants that have been dedicated and successful in other program components.

Employment possibilities include:

  • City of Ottawa- Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department
  • City of Ottawa – Community and Social Services Department
  • Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
  • Community Organizations
  • Local Businesses

Visit our Employers page to see a list of last year`s employers.


The goal: To guide youth through the program, offering insight and relating to experiences, while communicating with employers to ensure successful completion of their employment.

  • Provide guidance & support throughout training and job placement to ensure retention
  • Serve as ambassadors of post-secondary

 Post Secondary Experience

The goal: To allow participants the opportunity to interact with professors, students and staff and to familiarize themselves with the campus grounds and opportunities, allowing them to feel more comfortable enrolling in post-secondary education.

Ten days of on-campus orientation offers participants the opportunity to visit and tour the various campuses located in Ottawa:

  • Algonquin College
  • Carleton University-La Cité
  • Saint Paul University
  • University of Ottawa

The Post-Secondary Experience includes:

  • support from a Student Mentor through all program components
  • mini-lectures from professors and professionals from various schools and fields (i.e. everything from the arts to engineering)
  • in-depth information on how to finance your studies including bursaries and OSAP
  • learning about various student services ex. mentoring, health services, writing centre
  • learning about opportunities for on-campus engagement ex. sports, clubs

Community Engagement

The goal: To provide participants with opportunities to make connections and contributions to the community while building skills and their network for futures success. This component offers participants opportunities to volunteer that can go towards the 40 hours of volunteering required to graduate from high school.

Past opportunities included:

  • Community Clean-Ups
  • Playground Installations over counter
  • Basketball


Parental support

The goal: To provide your child with the motivation and resources they need to graduate and get the most out of the program.

Past opportunities included:

  • Networking opportunities with other parents
  • Skill building workshops
  • Attending Youth Futures events