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The Engaged Immigrant Youth Program (EIYP) is dedicated to working with school communities to support youth to stay in school and improve their chances of pursuing meaningful employment and educational opportunities.

Youth who move to Canada as older teens face a number of challenges which may prevent them from connecting fully with their school and community.  These challenges include learning English, the complexities of a new culture, the demands of school work, and making new friendships at school.

The Engaged Immigrant Youth program targets immigrant youth in grades 10, 11 and 12 attending VSB schools.  New immigrant and refugee youth in these grades are often at risk for not completing secondary school due to their lack of engagement with their school.  

Students in the program come from different backgrounds including those new to the Vancouver school system and youth who have been in Canada for several years but are having difficulty staying in school.

At present the program is serving over 300 youth throughout the school district with over 180 youth completing action plans with the help of their Youth Workers to reach their personal and career goals.

The program provides opportunities for students to participate in activities during lunch time, after school and weekends.  Youth workers help the students to improve their English skills and build leadership skills while enjoying recreational and cultural activities with their peers.  At the same time the program aims to help youth develop the confidence and skills needed to complete their academic goals including achieving a high school diploma.

Key to the success of the program is the small group size (20 students or less) allowing youth workers to give one-on-one support to the youth and for youth to feel comfortable in sharing their experiences.

DSC_0513.JPGA weekly homework club is held at the District Reception and Placement Centre (DRPC) and each of the participating schools hold activities twice a week.  They also offer tutoring and trauma counseling which is important in achieving personal goals.

Students are referred to the program when registering as new students with the vsbdrpc, through the Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) and Multicultural Liaison Workers in their schools, or by teachers and ESL department heads.  Youth can also enroll with their parent's consent.