By Paul Fitzgerald
It’s a staggering fact that only 14 per cent of Ontario elementary schools have access to guidance counsellors, and only 10 per cent have a counsellor on staff full-time.
Meanwhile, middle schools, those with grades 7 and 8, and high schools, have a higher percentage of guidance counsellors on staff but the average ratio of students to guidance counsellors is 391 to 1, which means students get little face time. This limits the amount of hands-on support that they should receive.
The lack of guidance counsellors in the education system in Port Credit is also being felt by parents and kids alike.
However, while the education system is grappling with cutbacks and changes in staffing priorities, a local entrepreneur is stepping up in order to make a positive and long-term difference for the youth of tomorrow.
You see, Susan McKechnie of Fresh Careers is expanding her business to include a one-of-a-kind career planning and coaching service for youth. Her passion for helping others will certainly help a strained educational system and will benefit youth and their families on many levels.
On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, McKechnie will host a special workshop, Post-Secondary Planning: Providing the Tools for Crafting a Post-Secondary Roadmap, at Port Credit Secondary School. The event will be held from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
“It’s never too early to think about and plan for your teen’s post-secondary pathway to college or university,” says McKechnie. “It will be here sooner than you think.”
During her presentation McKechnie, a youth career development professional and career coach, will provide parents with a step-by-step approach to helping their teen’s craft a suitable post-secondary roadmap.
“The intention of the evening workshop is to leave parents with the information necessary to navigate what comes next for their teens,” says McKechnie.
The topics she will cover include: the New Canadian Economy and the Future Jobs; Career Discovery Exploration; College and/or University, and/or Apprenticeship or other; Choosing the Right Fit of a Program; Financial Realities of a Post-Secondary Education; Preparing for the Transition to the World of Work and Planning a Successful Future.
The services that Fresh Careers offers are unique on every level and will benefit our youth, parents and will serve as a new and innovative branch for schools at all levels to utilize.
Some of the services Fresh Careers offer includes: Academic Roadmap Planning, Career Exploration, Events and Workshops, and Academic, Life and Career Coaching.
McKechnie and her team of professionals will soon be working with a number of other schools across the GTA.
“Our youth need direction and leadership from the right sources,” says McKechnie. “At present, the current system of career and life development is lacking in a big way in our educational system, and we know we will be here to make a positive difference for youth who need guidance and direction.”
She adds, “The right guidance and support means our youth will be better prepared for tomorrow.”