Meet Nadim, a Youth Futures grad
The program aims to break the cycle of poverty and help prepare young people for school after high school – many of them are the first in their families to attend college or university.
Nadim was in Grade 12 at Gloucester High School when he joined the program. He said that he joined because he was worried that university would be much harder than high school and he wanted to succeed.
He has two older brothers – one is studying macroeconomics at the University of Ottawa and the other is at Algonquin College.
The Youth Futures program is a seven-month course where students learn leadership skills, conflict resolution, CPR and get a job placement.
When Nadim started last year at the University of Ottawa, he was taking courses in International Development.
Because of his interest in international development, Nadim did his job placement with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, where he helped complete change of address forms for new Canadians.
Nadim said he would not have been able to get that work experience anywhere else.
“Some people would think it’s boring, but my supervisor would set goals, and I would try to beat them all the time,” he said.
Nadim said he is very glad he took part in the program.
Thanks in part to the program; he had the confidence to change his major from international development to communications.
“One thing my mentor said is that I would have all this free time, and I had to make sure to develop good study habits to make sure I did not leave things to the last minute,” he said.
Aside from work experience, Nadim said that he has made lasting friendships with other students who attended in 2018.
The 2020 class of Youth Futures launched in February. There will be 150 students participating this year. For those students, he offered a bit of advice.
“Scout out your mentors and your jobs beforehand so you can make the most of the experience,” he said.
As for what is next for Nadim? When this school year is done, he will be visiting family in Lebanon, and then coming back to look for part-time work to help with the cost of his studies.
“There is a lot of competition out there, so it helps to get the work experience and other training as part of the program,” he said.