Premier Greg Selinger today announced an investment of $3 million for nine community-based education programs for at-risk youth funded through the Bright Futures program including a commitment of $425,000 for Pathways to Education Canada.

“Our government has tripled funding for Bright Futures since it was introduced in 2008 because we see positive results when students stay in school, graduate and plan for a post-secondary education,” Selinger said. “Manitoba’s graduation rate has increased to 80.9 per cent in 2009 from 72.4 per cent in 2001, thanks, in part, to effective interventions by schools working with community-based partners.”

Projects funded under Bright Futures show students the benefits of education and future opportunities through programs such as Power Up, Career Trek, the Community School Investigators’ (CSI) Summer Leaning Enrichment Program, Bursary Management for CSI Students – SEED Winnipeg, Medical Careers Exploration Program – Pan Am Clinic Foundation, Pathways – Community Education Development Association, The Peaceful Village – Manitoba School Improvement Program and You Can Do It Learning Account Awards – a partnership between the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council, the Winnipeg Foundation and the Winnipeg School Division.

The Premier’s Advisory Committee on Education, Poverty and Citizenship is examining ways to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged students. The premier noted addressing social barriers to education, in addition to addressing the financial costs of pursuing post-secondary education, are keys to helping students succeed in school.

“Programs funded through Bright Futures aim to address both the social and economic challenges that some young people face, which can be eased or eliminated through advocacy, tutoring, mentoring and financial support, ” Selinger said. “Pathways Canada is an excellent example of the work being accomplished under Bright Futures. I commend the community partners such as parents, schools and educators, and corporate and program sponsors whose hard work has ensured Winnipeg is the host of the first Pathways in Western Canada. In addition, we are grateful to the sponsors of the many other Bright Futures programs which contribute to the educational future of at‑risk youth.”

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