Jane Finch Bridging Education to Employment (“JFBEE”) is a Collective Impact project informed by youth participatory action research. As a collaborative of youth researchers, residents and organisations living and working in the Jane/Finch community1, we seek to understand, and collectively address systemic barriers to education, training, and ultimately long term, secure employment for youth in the Jane/Finch community.
Through attending community and team meetings, the JFBEE Youth Researchers sought to explore some of the most pertinent issues in education and employment, and decided upon the following research questions for further investigation.
- How would racialized (especially Black) youth (14-29) in Jane/Finch envision and reimagine, their ideal high school experience?
- How do they understand the current purpose, value, and relevance of education? What does ‘success’ mean?
- Do they feel prepared for our post-secondary journey?
- How were their transitions — from middle to high school, high school to postsecondary education and/or work? What would they change?
- What were the key supports (people, programs, lessons, experiences, etc.) which enabled their “success” in education?
- How did teachers, administrators, and community members contribute to meaningful, memorable and impactful learning/growing experiences?
- How might current changes in education policy impact the outcomes of racialized youth in the Jane/Finch community?
- How might these differ between those who left school early verses those who graduated without pause, and between different genders, and racialized identities?
This is a youth participatory action research project. Youth leaders who are residents of the community have co-developed and designed the research questions and overall agenda. We have decided to use qualitative methods for data collection, including photovoice, interviews, and focus groups. We hope to conduct focus groups and photovoice with:
- Current high school students
- Current post-secondary students (college/university),
- Youth who pursued trades, apprenticeships, and/or straight to work, and
- Youth who left school early, are out of school, and/or are mature students.
We also hope to interview teachers, administrators, and community members who have made a positive impact on our student researchers to highlight best practices in lesson plans, student engagement, and more.
Given recent policy changes, we hope to understand their perspective on how this may impact education in our community.
To participate, slide into our DMs on Insta or Twitter at @Edu2Employ_JF, call 416 658 3101 ext. 311, or email firstname.lastname@example.org! Youth 29 and under, currently without full-time employment may be eligible to receive a $20 honorarium in the form of gift card or cheque.