Focus on Youth

Focus on Youth provides job opportunities and leadership activities for more than 100 secondary students in Ottawa. Through this program, youth (ages 16+) have the opportunity to be mentored and gain valuable leadership experience, while supporting their community.

The program is a partnership between the Ontario government, school boards, and local community agencies. 

The OCDSB supports Focus on Youth by:

  • Working with secondary schools to hire students to participate in the program.
  • Leading training activities in areas including, leadership, mental health awareness and pre-employment guidance before working with the non-profit agencies. 

In past years, students have worked in a variety of positions, including camp counselors and custodians, supporting local non-profits and community agencies, including:

  • BGC
  • Community Houses
  • Dovercourt and the City of Ottawa Camps
  • Parkdale Food Centre

The Focus on Youth is also part of the OCDSB Cooperative Education (co-op) program, which is a structured method of combining classroom-based education with practical work experience. With Focus on Youth, students have the opportunity to earn up to two co-op credits while being paid to work and support the community. A co-op teacher will monitor their progress.

Partner with Focus on Youth

The program is mutually beneficial for students and local partners alike. As students gain valuable work experience, community agencies have the chance to mentor youths and benefit from extra support during the busy summer months. 

Students are hired, paid and supported by the OCDSB through this program, with agencies only responsible for supervision.  

Learn more about how to be involved with Focus on Youth

See the tabs below for more information about program goals, student qualifications, important information for community agencies and key dates.

Contact Information 

- Wendy Lamble, FOY Coordinator - [email protected] - 613-978-7513
- Marnie Patterson, System Principal of Safe Schools, 613-721-1820


Focus on Youth student employment applications will be accepted from February 03 until February 17, 2023

Key Dates

February 03

Job application period opens

February 17

Job application period closes at midnight

March 01 - 03

Students will be contacted for an Interview.

March 06 - 10
March 30 - 24


April 03 - June 30

Leadership/Pre-employment and mental health awareness training workshop.

July03 -August 18

FOY placements

Contact Us

2023 Focus on Youth Application Form

We will begin accepting applications on February 03srd - February 17th, 2023

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