Nestled in the northeast corner of downtown Toronto lies St. James Town. Deemed as Canada’s most densely populated community, the town is filled with rich history, culture, and diversity. Some even refer to it as “the world within a block.” However, the youth in St. James Town have lived through many challenges and hardships, given that the community is one of the world’s most highly educated, yet low-income communities. A group called the St. James Town Youth Council has emerged, which is a team of young people living in St. James Town who have come together to connect, inspire and empower other youth in the community to realize their full potential, both personally and in their community. They achieve this by hosting and supporting local community events, advocating on behalf of youth, exploring youth-focused initiatives, providing youth with unique opportunities, and meeting regularly to address local issues.
Among their many initiatives, the St. James Town Youth Council is hoping to bring back KIDPACKS, a back-to-school initiative in which new backpacks and school supplies are distributed to young students. The AWB grant will be used to cover the costs of approximately 150 backpacks, each filled with paper, pencils, notebooks, erasers, glue sticks, and more. Something as simple as not having basic supplies for school shouldn’t prevent children from reaching their full potential in their education, right? Right.