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Youth Leadership Development Program

Positive Youth Development is an integral component of an overall strategy to combat risky and/or negative behaviors in transition-age youth. Youth development efforts strive to be proactive in encouraging positive behavior among young people, rather than reactive in responding to unwanted negative or risky behaviors. 


Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision-making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and in adulthood. Understanding who they are, loving who they are, and having a sense of belonging to their communities are important factors in the positive growth of our youth. We offer a number of programs and projects geared toward helping our young people build their confidence, learn about their identities, and deal with the challenges they face in day-to-day life.

The goal of our youth development programs is to build leadership skills in youth to enhance their personal and professional development and to promote community engagement and participation among black/African Canadian youth in Peel. The programs and services provide youth with information and services that promote positive growth, development, and decision-making.

Programs and services provided include:

  • Youth leadership development activities

  • Youth Arts and Heritage activities

  • Youth and Community Engagement activities

  • One for One Peer Youth Mentoring activities

  • Youth and Community Safety Education activities

  • Mentoring activities

  • Recreational youth activities

  • African Young Achievers club (AYA)

  • Black Diamonds Group

Enhanced Youth Outreach Worker Program (EYOW)

The Enhanced Youth Outreach Worker Program (EYOW) provides intensive one-on-one support to black youth ages 12 to 25 and their families to help them address their needs. The EYOW provides a range of services including short-term counseling and support services in accordance with the Stages of Change intervention model and collaborates with Youth Outreach Worker (YOW) to identify Black youth who may require additional, more intensive services. Youth are referred to appropriate services in the community for additional support and services as needed.

Youth Outreach Worker Program (YOW)

The Youth outreach worker program at ACS supports youth from the black community and their families by providing them with access to different programs and services that they require, including pre-employment and employment, summer job readiness, after school programs, mental health, community crisis response, recreation programs, among others. The program works collaboratively with the EYOW program by referring youth in need of therapeutic services to the EYOW.

Co-op Program

The Co-operative Education Program (co-op) allows students to earn credits by integrating the course curriculum with learning at a work placement. Students in all pathways, apprenticeship, college, community living, university, or the workplace can participate. Students are monitored and supported in their learning by the placement supervisor and co-op teachers.


Benefits to students:

  • Gain work experience in a unique learning environment outside the classroom

  • Develop employability skills and work habits that are applicable to the workplace

  • Participate in hands-on learning in a safe and encouraging environment

  • Choose a work placement based on their interests, readiness, and needs

  • Connect and build relationships with potential future employers

Summer Youth Employment Program

For students and new graduates, summer is the time to look for work to supplement their income, in many cases, pay for (or off) their education, and gain valuable work experience. Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to help all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition into the labor market. African Community Services of Peel supports Black/African community youth who face multiple barriers get summer employment opportunities through the Canada Summer Jobs program to:

  • provide quality work experiences 

  • respond to national and local priorities to improve access to the labor market for youth who face unique barriers

  • provide opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills

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