THANK YOU for your support of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC)! Because of you, BGCC is able to help youth like William, a youth member of our Ottawa Club, achieve their academic goals. As a result of the support provided by Boys and Girls Clubs – and the support from Rogers Raising the Grade that William received – he is pursuing his professional aspirations and is excited to now be giving back to support other kids and his community.
A thoughtful, articulate 18-year-old, William explains that he knew years ago he wanted a career in medicine.
"I'm an early decider," he says with a smile. He also has a personal reason.
"My grandmother lived with us in China before the family moved to Ottawa and she had a lot of lung problems. When I heard her coughing when I was little, I'd tell her: ‘One day, I am going to invent a medicine that will make you better.’
"Sadly, she died before we came to Canada in 2009 and I didn't get a chance to help her. But I’d like to make a contribution to society and I like working with people so I want to be a pharmacist."
William is clearly on track for success. He signed up for Rogers Raising the Grade at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa when he was in Grade 11 and is beginning an undergraduate program at the University of Ottawa as a prerequisite to pharmacy school.
Rogers Raising the Grade (RRTG) is a national program of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and offered in 43 service locations across Canada. RRTG offers homework help, connections with mentors and tutors, and a chance for youth to explore their interests and post-secondary education options.
The program features Club-based tech centres offering access to computers, high-speed Internet, and a welcoming place to relax and study with peers. Students meet at the Club after school a few times a week to establish and achieve their goals for high school and beyond.
Many RRTG mentors are in university or recently graduated so they have a lot of good, relevant advice, William says.
William says he was lucky to be mentored by Peter, who recently completed his surgical residency at the Civic Hospital. "Peter is amazing and really helped me a lot. He told me what courses I needed to take and his experience really expanded my vision.”
William’s been working part-time at a pharmacy for the past year, helping prepare and fill prescriptions, so he’s already getting a good understanding of the job of a pharmacist.
He has also been working part-time at the Boys and Girls Club for the last two years and plays sports of all kinds every chance he gets.
Will he be able to keep everything up with the added demands of university?
“I think I’ll manage,” he says with confidence. "My mentor helped me figure out my work/life balance and gave me some good time management tips. He is much more than a mentor to me—he is a friend.”
William says he hopes he can also be a Rogers Raising the Grade mentor. This year, the Ottawa RRTG program is already at full capacity and according to Melissa, the Education Manager at the Club’s Police Youth Centre location, "kids are jumping at the chance to get into the program."
What do you think? Are you interested in more information about how you can support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada? Please get in touch – you can reach Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-844-477-7272 x271.