Every year, thousands of vulnerable Toronto youth do not get a chance to realize their potential. They are consistently challenged by a combination of barriers stemming from their circumstances. By no fault of their own they are at risk of not achieving positive life outcomes and are most vulnerable to violence, poverty, and crime.
At Trails, they strive to ensure youth can pursue their hopes, dreams and aspirations, free of barriers based on race, gender, economic status or geography, so that they can achieve success and meaningfully contribute to their community.
Trails believes that early intervention, the right amount of guidance, support and structure, can change everything. Trails is about prevention: helping our participants identify their strengths and imbuing them with a desire to complete high school, seek further education and/or productive careers, and to contribute to their community.
Trails Youth Initiatives reaches youth from at-risk schools in Toronto whose potential is often overlooked. Starting at the age of 12, Trails works with the selected groups of kids year round, introducing its participants to life and leadership skills. Trails works to make its participants active leaders in their communities through a progressive series of outdoor activities where they are encouraged to push themselves and try new things.
Trails retains over 90% of its participants over their four year program, and over 90% of its graduates go on to post-secondary educations. The initiative maintains a bursary and scholarship program to help participants who would otherwise be restricted from going on to post-secondary schools. Last year, Trails doubled the number of youth entering the program and plans to continue with this larger intake with the support of its funders.