As program facilitators, we provide Indigenous students with the opportunity to develop hands on skills by working on community projects from start to finish. Project specifics are strategically selected by the community, ensuring the community can find their own unique solution. As a non-for-profit organization, we help communities find their solution and deliver the required resources.
Focus Forward will source teachers, contractors, and resources bringing everyone together to build the shared project for the local community. In building the project, students will gain hands-on work experience, obtain high school credits, earn apprenticeship hours, and even receive a compensation package for their work. Throughout the process, students will cultivate leadership skills, work ethic, and a sense of confidence that will help them focus forward on a positive and engaged future.
Focus Forward was created on 5 pillars that make up the structure of the organization:
Our process and these pillars are best explained from the perspective of the youth and the communities themselves.
For the youth, these programs can be an opportunity of a lifetime. Far too often Indigenous youth fail to complete their education because they neither enjoy it nor understand its importance – as a result, they become disengaged and isolated. These programs are an opportunity to re-engage and empower the youth through hands-on learning opportunities that can invoke a passion they never knew existed. Through close mentorship and hard, satisfying work the students will have the opportunity to learn more about themselves, their capabilities, and what their future can be like. These students will walk away inspired by the idea of building themselves and their community a brighter future.
These programs will require collaboration of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, tradespeople, developing youth, generous sponsors and partners within the community that are involved in the process. Throughout the process, Focus Forward aims to foster an appreciation for other people’s perspectives and culture to create empathy from everyone.
We aim to establish a more complete understanding of the issues that communities and cultures are facing; housing and food security concerns, the ensuing health impacts, and the problems with appropriation. We encourage the appreciation of incredibly unique culture and history – there is so much to learn and enjoy. Overall, we will achieve improved mutual consideration of everyone’s unique perspective, where people genuinely appreciate and recognize the situation fully; this will enable growth forward for everyone involved. Drawing on innovative and sustainable technologies, we can implement solutions that will create lasting change – tackling some of the most complex housing and food challenges will require nothing less.
At Focus Forward, our collaboration with the communities is just the beginning – we make sure whatever solution we helped to implement remains functioning to the exact standard desired by the community. So long as we stay true to the five pillars of Focus Forward we will be able to help make permanent brick and mortar changes in communities across Canada. These changes will result in communities with empowered youth, where all people involved can appreciate the unique cultures that exist in this country and work together to make the world a more positive place for all.