A Community-Centric Blueprint to Help Youth Reach High School Graduation

Reboot Plus works to increase high school graduation rates in communities across Canada. Specifically, we want to target youth with barriers in their education; from anxiety to economic instability. Clearly, we know some youth find traditional education difficult. Our approach involves a community.

Our initial offering through Douglas College proved successful and secured additional funding to cross the country. The Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre funds brought the College of the North Atlantic on board. Perry White is the facilitator of this program at the Bay St. George Campus.

A Structured Curriculum

“I like how structured this program is. Normally, when I’m given a course, I receive a general outline and fill in the blacks. This course provided a full curriculum scaffolded over 16-weeks. The direction, materials, and activities needed to run the course were provided. My students enjoyed this college-level course that challenged their thinking.”

A Focus on Connection 

“At the College of the North Atlantic, we built a ‘supper club’ into our program. Sharing meals and talking informally helped our students connect. There’s a pool table on campus that helped my students integrate themselves into the student population. We moved youth away from social isolation and reintegrated them gently into the college environment. It was a nice first step,” says White.

A Focus on Tools

Many youth find themselves up against barriers that can seem insurmountable. Providing a way over, or around these obstacles is a focus of Reboot Plus. Most youth of today don’t know the myriad of services available to them. “We were fortunate to receive a donation of laptops for the students in our program,” White says. The Computers for Schools gave students computers to keep for the program and beyond.

A Focus on Soft Skills

We designed workshops around assertive communication. If you have assertive communication, a lot of the other things fall in place. Students learned how to give a 30-second speech. Informational interviews were demonstrated collectively, and students had opportunity to branch out on their own to learn more about careers. Self-reflection was done through journaling activities and personality tests. Essentially, students dig deep to better understand themselves and how they fit into the world.”

“One participant was really interested in the military and had several interviews with people from different factions. In the last week of our program the Snowbirds Flight Team stopped in Stephenville enroute to a show. Recognizing a Snowbird, my student introduced himself, and had a long conversation about life in the military. It was great to see him using the skills learned in the program to create this opportunity for himself. His father said this is something he would have never done before Reboot Plus.”

A Connection to Industry Leaders for Support and Guidance

At Reboot Plus, we know the power of a conversation. Our business communities stepped up to share their career journeys with youth through informational interviews. “The Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce and the professional community supported us greatly. It was evident that professionals really wanted to help. They always left with a genuine “if there is anything else I can do to help just let me know.”

Students of the program:

  • Visited to the set of Shawnadithit as part of a tour of the Film Studies program.
    Two students dressed up in historical costumes and appeared as extras in the film. The scene was shot on a beach road and then the filmmakers used Computer Generated Imagery to make it appear as though they were on a city street in St John’s during the early 1800’s. The students then went to the film’s premier at a local theatre to see the Reboot Plus actors on the big screen.
  • Put on and used a full fireman’s breathing apparatus.
  • Performed CPR on a robot in the back of an ambulance.
  • Searched for victims in a fire simulation room using heat sensor cameras.
  • Visited a digital animation lab and observed a digital film being created.
  • Participated in a baking class with author, TV Personality and Pastry Chef Aaron McInnis.
  • One student did a tour of a Morgue.
  • Attended a cooking class with D’Arcy Butler from Big Red’s Cooking.
  • Toured a heavy equipment site.

A Path to their Authentic Selves

“At the beginning of this program, the graduates expressed a desire to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives. They wanted to to meet new people, make friends, do things and get unstuck. Reboot Plus provided all of this and more. Participants developed new skills, gained new insights, became more confident, and, most importantly are leaving with a plan. Those who completed the program received a Certificate of Completion and two credits awarded by the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education towards their Adult Basic Education Diploma.

  • Graduates plan to take the Adult Basic Education Diplomas in the Fall together.
  • One student got a job on a fishing boat, which was an area of interest.
  • One student made the choice to leave the program to work through some struggles with guidance and support from staff.

“If you open yourself up to new experiences you get to experience new things. It is so great to see our participants leaving with a plan and some cool stories.”

The Reboot Plus project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

Le projet Reboot Plus est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.