What We Do
How do we identify the needs of PEC youth?
We identify the needs of PEC youth, spread the word to our Collective partners, and initiate action in the community to address issues and barriers presented by youth.
- We engage youth to share their voice in a meaningful way through surveys, conversations, focus groups, and data parties.
- The information gathered through this process is compiled and analyzed by The Students Commission of Canada and then turned into a report. Click here to see our most recent reports on Mental Health and Community Engagement.
- We host “data parties” to present these reports to the community with a specific call out to Youth, to share our findings and to gather feedback. We ask questions such as: “Does this information represent your feelings? Does anything stand out to you? Do you think this accurately represents your experiences?”
- We take all the feedback that we receive and present it to the Collective of youth serving organizations
- We have an open dialogue with our partners in the Collective, where we share observations, experiences, and ideas with regards to PEC youth and their needs.
In 2013, the County Foundation (TCF) produced a Vital Signs report that provided a snapshot of the community and raised awareness of its successes and challenges. This report was based on a collection of quantitative and qualitative data from municipal, provincial, and federal sources, and community conversations. The report pointed to opportunities for collaboration to analyze and address problems.
An advisory committee prioritized three key areas for immediate action: Learning, Food Insecurity, and Transportation. Working groups defined priorities and projects in each of the three areas. The Vital Signs Learning working group, with members from 15 local organizations, articulated a vision “to create a community culture that embraces learning and personal development and enables everyone to reach their potential.” The group has met on a regular basis since 2013, and in early days focused on relationship-building and gaining awareness of services available in the community. A driving force for the group was the knowledge that graduation rates in PEC are well below the provincial average. Conscious of the complex, long-standing nature of this issue, the group came to embrace a Collective Impact approach for reaching the goal of increasing the PEC graduation rate to parity with the provincial average by 2026, which was seen as a key indicator of progress toward the group’s vision.
The Vital Signs Learning working group component of this initiative has become the Greater Than: County Youth Collective. The current partners of this group include; Career Edge, Centre For Workforce Development, Prince Edward Learning Centre, Community Living Prince Edward, The John Howard Society-Quantum Program, The ROC, Prince Edward County Public Library, Loyalist College and The Students Commission of Canada.
Embedded Youth Team
Greater Than values and encourages youth to participate in every area of our work. The members of our Youth Embedded team are employed in roles that have been developed and funded by the Collective. In these roles, youth work within our partner agencies with a portion of their work being directed to collective activities. They meet regularly to discuss the programs and services offered by their organization, to develop a communications plan for Greater Than, and act as a model of Collective Impact. The Embedded Youth Team works with the Students Commission of Canada to employ Participatory Action Research (surveys and “data parties” where we gather youth voice to identify and address the needs of youth in PEC) through active youth engagement. When the Embedded Youth team isn’t working on Greater Than initiatives, they are working within their organizations to support PEC families and youth.
Allie Greer is a new member of Greater Than project, having joined in July 2018 as an embedded youth from the John Howard Society. At the John Howard Society she is part of the Quantum program, which strives to increase graduation rates and support youth in achieving their academic goals. Allie loves so many aspects of Prince Edward County including; the beaches, the wineries, the people, and the close-knit community that has supported her on her path thus far. Allie believes that Prince Edward County as a whole, has the opportunity to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Skylar Gray is an active grade 12 student at PECI. He is looking forward to graduation in June 2019 and starting College to become a Social Service worker or work in a human service related field. In 2016 Skylar took part in the Participatory Action Research or PAR project which evolved into his role in the Greater Than project. Through Greater Than Skylar was hired as a Youth Engagement Worker at Community Living Prince Edward. Skylar enjoys binge watching Criminal minds, spending time giving back in his local community and reading. This is not a dating profile!
Sydney Kerr joined the ROC staff in July 2017. Her educational focus on mental health, learning difficulties, child and adolescent development, and the influence of sociocultural factors on the lives of young people earned her a BA Honours in Child and Youth Studies from Brock University. Sydney is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner passionate about relationships and has been working with children, youth and families for the past 5 years at various non-profit agencies. She has experience working with a diverse population of children and youth with a background in research, tutoring, counselling, and program planning and management. As a long-time Prince Edward County resident Sydney has established strong roots in our community. Sydney works to meaningfully connect with the children, youth and families that she comes into contact with and is deeply motivated to help young people reach their full potential.
Christian Everall is a Youth Engagement Worker with Greater Than: County Youth Collective. She loves working with youth to empower and encourage them to share their voice and achieve their goals. In the past she has worked with local community groups to support impoverished and or/homeless youth in the GTA. As a young person her favourite pastime was attending summer camps in Muskoka. She was born and raised in Prince Edward County where she is raising her young children.