Our unique approach focuses on an adolescent's long-term development. Over the course of four years, Trails provides youth with the skills knowledge and confidence to make a difference in their communities. Our youth are referred to us by the teachers, guidance counselors and principals from our five feeder schools, all in high priority neighborhoods in Toronto.
Our schools are selected by using the Toronto District School Board's Learning Opportunities Index (LOI). The LOI ranks each school based on the measures of external challenges affecting student success. The LOI measures relative need and compares all schools on exactly the same set of data collected. The LOI assists with steering additional resources to the schools serving students who face greater challenges.
The process of recruitment is intentional and consistent with our desire to create long-term relationships that are sustainable. We are fortunate to have ‘champions’ in our feeder schools who believe that Trails is an added value to their student's success. Youth are recruited during their Grade 6 year and the Director of Youth Development begins to liaise with the teachers, principals, and administrators in September.
An initial conversation begins with the review of our goals, mission, strategies of success and long-term benefits, including support through high school in the form of mentoring, and beyond to financial assistance at post-secondary education.
Over the period of October-December, presentations to teachers and all grade 6 classes in each of our schools occurs. We have current participants in each school come to help with these presentations as part of the effort to cultivate leadership at the schools. Teachers refer potential applicants, and fill out a teacher referral form. The Trails Director will meet with parents and potential participants in a group forum. This process takes place from January-March annually.
Final selection of 10 boys and 10 girls (age 12) requires a final interview with parents and children. Parents are notified in April regarding the acceptance of their child and a final medical form along with $100 programme fee is required to complete the recruitment. Parents and participants are required to attend an orientation at the Trails Site in June.
Applying for Trails
If you are interested in having your child join Trails or have any questions, please contact Brandon McKinley firstname.lastname@example.org To proceed with the application, the forms are available below and when submitted will go directly to Brandon. Please note that both forms must be submitted for the applicant to be considered.