The seeds of Trails were planted in 1992 when Peter Daglish, the founder of Street Kid's International asked me, Jim Hayhurst Sr. if I would work with him in Africa. I replied, "Thanks Peter, but there are a lot of challenges with vulnerable youth in Toronto, and I would rather volunteer here and try to make a difference in my own home town".
Peter decided to join me, a retired advertising man and the former Chair of Outward Bound. The principles from Outward Bound, along with our genuine love for kids ignited the spark to develop Trails Youth Initiatives. We knew that we wanted to challenge and equip vulnerable youth to be contributing members of their communities. A simple concept, but not easy to execute. The strategy was simply to develop skills, knowledge, and self-confidence. The execution was based on lessons from other programs to create a Four Seasons, Four Years, For Life Programme that had never been done before.
Twenty-four years later, with incredible staff, trusting funders, and committed kids and their families, we have a greater than 90% retention rate out of our four year programme. In addition, an incredible rate of participants go on to pursue college and or university educations.
Trails has made a big difference in the lives of over 2,000 young boys and girls. We are carefully and strategically exploring how to increase the number of kids we can impact.
Thanks to all of you!
Jim Hayhurst Sr.