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The social service sector needs more professionals, and youths-facing-adversity can be part of the solution.

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Our work with youths facing significant adversity over the past 5 years has brought us into engagement with a wide span of experiences.

Some of these youths come from high risk backgrounds, where gangs and substance abuse are the norm. Others come from high need backgrounds, where mental health challenges and neglect are the daily struggle. Over time, many of these youths have found their way back into stability and onward unto personal development.

A question remains:

Can these youths who were once the recipients of social services play a part in fixing the sector’s problems?

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Impart believes that a pathway forward is possible. But it has to be paved by pioneers.

These youths possess a wealth of lived experiences, but that is not enough to make them experts. However, the requisite formal accreditation for serving as professionals in the sector involves obtaining a diploma or university degree. Many of these youths simply do not have the time and means to pursue such 3-7 year options. And so they often pursue jobs to pay the bills – sustenance, rather than development and contribution, becomes their pathway forward.

Paving Pathways is Impart’s response to this challenge. Without diminishing the value of a professional diploma or degree, we will develop youths through a 1 year-program.

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They will receive training and exposure to Impart’s model of community work, which spans theoretical and practical components to youth engagement, mental health care, and systems thinking. This experience will also set them up to pursue further education. By paving new pathways for youths to build on the strengths of their past experiences, we’re also paving a new way for the sector to experience growth.

A CASE STUDY

narish's pathway

“To be honest, working at Impart (and in this sector) isn’t easy. There were many times when I felt like giving up because it felt like helping my youths to change was almost impossible. I didn’t know if I could do it. But when I saw how all my colleagues didn’t give up - they didn’t give up on the youths and they didn’t give up on the program - I also didn’t want to give up anymore. It’s the power of the community la. We knew that we just had to find the solutions together, and stay faithful to our mission."

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Narish first received Impart’s academic support as a private ‘N’ level candidate. Successfully entered ITE course of his choice. 

Completed his ITE course and traineeship with Subaru while exploring a career as an amateur boxer.

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Expressed interest in serving the community, accepted as an intern with Impart under the Paving Pathways program.

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Converted into a full-time trainee with Impart, successfully enrolled in a Work Study Diploma for Community Engagement & Development

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"For myself, I would say that I have honestly also grown more resilient. The Narish from before Impart would not have continued on this journey. The Narish now knows that this is a precious opportunity. Not just to change my life, but to change the lives of others. It’s sort of like when you know that there is a real grace that has opened up new worlds for you, and you want to treasure, cherish, and keep growing through that grace that you have received. So I’ve received all of this grace, and it has helped me to learn what it’s like to be the real Narish. It keeps me going on."

narish

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