“Now I know I am able to succeed.”

William first came to the Y in October 2013. He was 13 years old and in grade 7. For the second time around. Barely halfway through his first semester, he was falling behind. Again.

His school? A windowless bunker with endless hallways, where street gangs recruit new members, and half the students abandon their studies before getting their high school diploma.

It came as no surprise that William was suspended. Why? The list was long: at-risk behaviour, disrespecting teachers, incomplete homework, being disruptive in class, fighting on school property, and unable to control his emotions or manage his anger.

Today William is 16 and in grade 10. He is mature and calm. His school record? Not a single disciplinary measure in three years.

Caring donors like you changed the path of William’s life. How? In a new environment, he learned strategies to help him calm down and reflect before acting out. He was paired with Brianna, a youth worker who helped him make better choices.

When William returned to school, his attitude had changed, along with his grades. He was one of the lucky ones. His old ‘gang’? Not so fortunate. They didn’t make it through school.

Thanks to the support he received, William is working hard to build his own promising future. Now, as captain of the football team, he is winning awards at school for his exemplary behaviour and leadership.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.