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Empowering Exceptional Young Leaders to Succeed

News Release

Empowering Exceptional Young Leaders to Succeed

Ontario Helping Youth Make a Difference and Create Jobs

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ontario is helping promising young leaders gain the knowledge, skills, experience and support they need to make positive social changes in their communities and across the province.

The province is supporting MaRS Discovery District in delivering a new innovative program -- Studio Y: Ontario's Social Impact and Leadership Academy. The nine month program will include intensive training and mentoring for up to 25 youth aged 18 to 29, to build and refine their leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurial skills. The curriculum will be focused on helping participants become social entrepreneurs, change agents or civic leaders -- turning their bright ideas into new businesses or solutions to challenges facing their communities.

Preparing Ontario's youth to take on leadership roles that spur social and economic enhancements, supports the government's efforts to invest in people and create a strong business climate, two of the three pillars of the government's economic plan for jobs and growth.

Quick Facts

  • Applications open Oct. 1, 2013, and the first group of young people will begin the program in Jan. 2014.
  • Since opening its doors in 2005, MaRS Discovery District has become a leader in fostering and supporting social innovation through private and public sector partnerships.
  • Studio Y builds on the commitments of Ontario’s Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed and Social Innovation Strategy by harnessing the creativity of young people to address the province’s current and future social challenges and opportunities.
  • Businesses and eligible youth aged 15 to 29 can now apply to the province’s Youth Employment Fund by making an appointment with a local Employment Ontario service provider. The fund helps employers offer four- to six-month job and training placements for young people looking for employment, as well as providing up to $7,800 to cover a range of supports and services for each eligible young worker under the fund.

Additional Resources


“Ontario youth are some of the brightest and best educated in the world. By investing in programs like Studio Y, our government is helping our youth harness their great potential so they are better able to solve problems, foster social change and succeed in an increasingly complex world. It really is an investment in a better future.”

Teresa Piruzza

Minister of Children and Youth Services

“How do we create our best selves so we can build a better world? That's the question a lot of us are asking, especially young talent from around Ontario. And that's what Studio Y squarely focuses on — supporting young talent in realizing their full potential for transforming the future of Ontario and the world.”

Hamoon Ekhtiari

Director, Studio Y, MaRS Discovery District

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