In 2010, the Jewish-Somali Mentorship program (JSMP) was developed by Jewish Family Services (JFS) and Somali Center for Family Services (SCFS) to assess and address growing employment-related concerns of immigrant, newcomer and first-generation Canadian youth. 100 youth participated in our programs in year 1 and year 2. In 2012, JSMP was featured in the Canadian Race Relation’s Best Practice Reader in the Youth Category. In 2013, JSMP posted a video to YouTube to celebrate the collective achievements of the program.
JSMP was renamed Networking4Youth (N4Y) in 2014 to reflect two realities: the need to support more youth and a de-emphasis on “mentorship” and the hierarchical language associated with the terms “mentor” and “mentee”. Our panel events are organized to support mutual listening and mutual hearing. We learn from each other.
Networking for Youth (N4Y) is an innovative community-based resource to support young job seekers in their search for employment. We serve all post secondary students in their 20s to mid 30s in transition from education to the labor market, including:
- Permanent Residents
- New Canadians
In 2015, N4Y co-developed a new program called “Kids Can Code”. Tech-focused programs for youth such as “Kids Can Code” are designed to encourage early skill development and training in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM). Scratch Junior, for example, is online software to teach children as young as 5-years old to use the building blocks of technology to create customized products, games and cards.
After-school and summer STEM programs offered by community hubs, online classes, Microsoft, Agha Khan, Intel, and other organizations across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa have made significant investments in youth tech education with the goal of encouraging more youth to gain the practical skills that serve to express individual creativity, apply for a summer job and access the jobs of today and of the future.