Making Memories, Building Futures

RTW was pleased to award a sponsorship cheque to Jennifer Jegede to support the after-school program operated by Inner City Outreach, a registered charity that connects youth in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto with opportunities to build skills and a vision of what life could offer.
Over 15 years ago, Jennifer Jegede brought her skills as a high school teacher and mother (of four!) to the Jane and Finch area of Toronto in an inspired effort to meet the needs of the youth in what is often viewed as a crime-ridden, economically challenged area.
Inner City Outreach is the current expression of this ongoing passion for helping youth to find a positive path in life.  Kids who might otherwise drop out of school early for economic reasons or out of sheer discouragement with the difficulty of mastering numeracy skills and English literacy skills, especially if English is not the first language, are offered assistance with homework and recreational opportunities that enable them to stay focused on leading a positive life.
ICO offers programs in 5 areas of need:
  • Homework Help reaches over 70 children in 3 locations from October through May, in partnership with teacher candidates from York University and other volunteers.
  • The Basketball League hosted at Brookview Middle School gives male youth the chance to connect with positive influences while enjoying the area's most popular sport.
  • Groups within the Scouting organization, such as Beavers (under 8 years of age), Cubs (ages 8 - 10), Scouts (ages 10 - 13) and Rovers (over 13) provide about 25 male participants with wilderness and outdoor experiences that this year included a 2-night tent camping trip.
  • The summer camp is a day camp that runs for 6 weeks and provides about 75 children with access to outings such as trips to the Royal Ontario Museum, Centre Island, and the Wet and Wild Water Park.
  • Youth Employment  - as the children served by this organization mature, many of them opt to become mentors to the younger children.  Where possible, ICO looks to provide paid employment, such as the 15 counselor positions with the summer camp, but even when payment is not an option, the mentors are still highly motivated to to volunteer their time, to give back so that others can benefit from all the ICO programs offer.
The majority of ICO's funding comes from private donations, and Jennifer indicated RTW's funds would be directed towards the after-school program for materials and educational incentives - a most worthwhile investment in our view.