Celebrating 143 Dedicated High School Students Graduating the Youth Futures Program – Marking 15 Years of Success!

Thursday, August 17, 2023 — August 17th, 2023, Ottawa, ON – Today, 143 dedicated, high school students will be walking across the stage to celebrate their hard work, dedication and completion of the Youth Futures program. The graduation marks the end of the 6-month program where students participated in weekly training and ended the program with a six-week fulltime workplace placement. Over the course of the program students gained first aid training, resume workshops, post-secondary orientations, and received mentorship skills. The graduation is a time to celebrate the success of the students, the 10 hardworking mentors who were alongside the students each step of the way.

This program is possible thanks to the commitment and financial support from our partners; City of Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, BGC Ottawa, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, La Cite, St. Paul’s, Algonquin College, over 124 local organizations providing placements, RBC Future Launch Program, and Rideau Hall Foundation through their Catapult funds.

When: August 17th, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Horticulture Building – 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa, ON

*Media are welcome to attend. Optimal time for photos between 6:00pm-7:00pm


“Watching the smiles on the faces of the students graduating from the Youth Futures program is one of my favourite events of the year. They have committed their Saturdays throughout the past six months to complete the program and gain skills that will carry them forward through their post-secondary endeavors. We wish them nothing but the best in their next chapter”.

Traci Spour-Lafrance, Acting Executive Director, OCH Foundation 

“The leadership skills learning, and valuable job experience will serve students well for whatever they choose to do next, says Marjolaine Hudon, RBC Regional President. “That’s why RBC invests year after year in OCH’s Youth Futures Program – to prepare young people for the future of work. Congratulations to all the graduates over the last 15 years – I am super proud of all of you – and I know your loved ones are too.”

Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President, RBC

“As the world rapidly changes, young people need to be equipped with the right tools to adapt and influence the trajectory of that change. The Rideau Hall Foundation’s Catapult Canada program is proud to support Youth Futures and its 2023 graduates who are undoubtedly changemakers. This milestone is one that we are honored to celebrate, and we are certain that there will be many more that highlight the grit, enthusiasm, and gifts of these youth.”

Ikem Opara, Director, National Learning Partnerships, Catapult, Rideau Hall Foundation

Quick Facts:

  • Over the past fifteen years, 1,467 students have graduated from the program
  • In 2023, 143 students are graduating from the Youth Futures program
  • This year, 248 youth applied to be a part of the Youth Futures Program
  • This year marks the 15th year of the Youth Futures program

About the OCH Foundation

Committed to the 32,000 tenants living in Ottawa Community Housing, the OCH Foundation helps families, youth and children achieve personal success through education, employment, and community engagement projects. The Foundation has raised over 11 million dollars since its inception which has been redistributed through tenant focused programs and initiatives. / LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook   

About Youth Futures  

Youth Futures is a program led by the City of Ottawa, BGC Ottawa, and the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation that breaks down barriers to post-secondary education and employment faced by marginalized and equity deserving youth. Each year, more than 200 youth apply to participate in the six-month bilingual program. It provides mentoring and leadership training as well as job placement opportunities for students from low-income communities. The goal is to provide support to students and help them succeed in their post-secondary education and employment.

About RBC Future Launch Program  

RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. With a focus on networking, skills development, practical work experience and mental wellbeing supports and services, the initiative aims to help break down the barriers facing young people. In 2020, RBC committed to providing $50 million in focused funding through RBC Future Launch to create meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for up to 25,000 BIPOC youth by 2025, with investments in areas such as skills development and mentoring. 

About the Rideau Hall Foundation’s Catapult Canada Program

The Rideau Hall Foundation is a national charity that serves to shine a light on Canadian excellence, and to create the conditions for more Canadians to succeed and to thrive. Its Catapult Canada program aims to increase equity of access to learning opportunities for youth. It does this by channeling resources to community programs, providing funding, building evaluation frameworks, and facilitating partnerships, in order to build the capacity and infrastructure of charities and non-profits increasing access to learning. Catapult Canada provides valuable and up-to-date resources ranging from new funding opportunities to evaluation support, new research on promising practices, and more.

For additional information, please contact:

Briar Gornall, Communications and Engagement Coordinator
613-697- 0824