Focus on Youth

Focus on Youth provides job opportunities and leadership activities for more than 130 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
  • 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 07 until February 23, 2024

Key Dates

February 07

Job application period opens

February 23

Job application period closes at midnight

February 26 - March 08


April 02 - June 30

Orientation and Various Trainings

July 02 -August 16

FOY placements

Contact Us

2024 Focus on Youth Application Form

We will begin accepting applications on February 7th - February 23rd, 2024

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