Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP) STEM After-School Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Skills for Change?
Skills for Change (SfC) is a Toronto based non-for profit organization. SfC has developed a cohesive approach to enhancing and expanding programs and services to meet the critical and emerging needs of our current client base – with emphasis on increasing services to youth, women and seniors.
What is BYAP?
The project is part of the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism’s Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP), which aims to increase opportunities and reduce barriers for Black youth in the Greater Toronto Area. The program is a free 12- week program that provides youth access to STEM training, Anti-Black racism workshops, mental wellness workshops and career pathway development.
This program will be instrumental in introducing Black youth to STEM thereby helping them venture into a field in which there is very little diversity. Being part of STEM also means being involved in shaping the future of technology that is crucial for the society’s growth and evolution. SfC is giving that platform for 120 Black youth to dream for a career in STEM and helping them realize their dream through training and mentorship. This program will be ongoing as continued effort to support Black youth is crucial for them to get into these high priority sectors that will benefit from better representation from racialized groups.
Will this program be in-person or virtual?
The program will be in person, and can be accommodated to be virtual if weather concerns arise.
What days of the week will the program be running?
For the spring cohort the program will run from April 22nd 2023-July 15th 2023. It will be held on Thursday evenings 5:30pm-7:30pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. Depending on the weeks and when trips are scheduled on saturday, drop off and pick up times will vary. Each week will focus on a different STEM module.
Is there a limited amount that can register for the program?
Yes, we are accepting a maximum of 50 participants for the spring cohorts. There will be a waiting list if spots are filled.
My child is turning 14 in a few months, can I still register them?
Yes, if your child will be turning 14 years old within this year of 2023, we will accept them as a participant. Please ensure you are inputting the correct date of birth.
Where will the program be held?
The spring cohort will be held at York University from April-July. There will be a new location for the fall cohort. Official details of the room location and drop of points are provided in our information sessions and orientation day.
The distance is quite far, do you provide transportation support?
Yes, we do provide transportation support. We will provide bus tokens to individuals taking transit. We do not provide gas reimbursement for those who have reliable transportation.
Will there be staff on onsite during the program?
Yes, there will be two Youth workers present at the time of the program, who are certified and trained to interact with youth.
Will food be provided?
Occasionally, snacks will be provided. However, it is strongly encouraged to bring your own lunch/snacks to the sessions.
Are volunteer hours provided?
No, this is not a community service program. Volunteer hours will not be provided. However, our employment service team can assist in connecting you to STEM volunteer opportunities.
Will I need to bring any equipment/materials?
No, you will not need to bring any additional materials unless requested.
What will the mentors do?
The mentors will be assigned to 1-3 participants, based on similar interests and/or the STEM industry. They will provide additional tips, motivation, guides and many more. If you are matched up with a mentor that you don’t fit well with, you can always be switched.
I don’t have any mental health issues, why do I need to do mental health workshops?
Everyone has mental health the same way everyone has physical health. When we take a physical education class it teaches us new things about our bodies and how to prevent potential injuries or be aware of symptoms that can lead to an injury. Taking a mental health workshop is just like that! It teaches us new things about our mental health, increases our awareness, and educates us on how to be aware of symptoms that can lead to mental health concerns. The mental health workers in our STEM program are not here to diagnose a problem but educate, while building community for Black mental health and well-being.
How can participants register for the program?
The participants can register by using the google form link to submit their interest. Once received a Skills for Change Youth worker will follow up within 2-3 business days.