Youth and Access to Education

Youth Program

FCJ Youth Network

The FCJ Youth Network has shaped a positive and inclusive space to welcome migrant and refugee youth from around the world. The group works from a strong intersectional framework, and welcomes anyone regardless of their immigration status, gender identity, sexual identity, language ability, length of time in Canada, skin colour, country of origin, or any other aspect of their identity.

The FCJ Youth Network strives to celebrate the resilience and potential of each of its members, and address the multiple barriers that impede their full and equitable participation in Canadian society. The group is open for migrant and refugee youth between the ages of 14 and 25 (and allies). We meet every Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30 at the FCJ Refugee Centre.

Some activities in which the Youth Network has participated include Pride Church-Wellesley Village Tour, Little Amal Walk, Toronto Islands Day Trip, Healthy Relationships Workshop, Pumpkin Carving Mental Health Workshop, Monthly Family Dinner, Volunteer Hours/Opportunities; Plan2PR; Youth Advisory Group…

Youth Case Management – Immigration

Legal Aid, Work Permit, Study Permit, Permanent Residence, Humanitarian & Compassionate Case Support.


Ontario Works, Ontario Photo ID, Housing, Healthcare, Transit, Clothing, Food Bank, Employment.


School, Library, Community Centre.

Community Outreach

Workshops, Instagram, WhatsApp.


Access to Education Program

The Access To Education Program started as an emerging need identified by the members of the FCJ Youth Network (FCJYN).

The in-house Access To Education Program came about in 2014 entitled “Uprooted Series,” followed by the launching of “Uprooted U” and “Uprooted Jr.” in 2015 as official annual components of the series.

The Access To Education Program has now grown exponentially to meet the developing needs of the communities we work with.

These programs are possible through the support of Maytree Foundation.

Maytree Foundation

School Enrollment

Elementary, Secondary, EdVance Program, Adult School; Post-Secondary; ESL (English as a second language).

Uprooted Series

  • Uprooted JR. (ages 6-12): MusicBox, Art Classes, Book Club, Bridging To School
  • Uprooted Youth (ages 13-30): Homework/Tutoring Club, Virtual English Classes
  • Uprooted U (ages 18+): Academic Stream
  • Uprooted Workshops (ages 18+)


Public Education

Videos, Podcast, Trainings and Webinars.

Broadening access to Post-Secondary Education: The Sanctuary Scholars Program

After the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015, the City of Toronto welcomed proposals to the Community Legacy Initiative Fund for projects which would increase capacity and address systemic barriers experienced by the city’s Latin American, South American and Caribbean communities.

The project, Access to Education, was submitted and approved – for providing two options for accessing post-secondary education at York University.

The project offers two pathways for entry into University – a bridging course program, and a direct entry program.

The program has had 8 years of successful continuity & has expanded to Toronto Metropolitan University for it’s first iteration in Fall 2023.

Uprooted Report Card Project

In 2016, the FCJ Youth Network produced a report assessing the secondary school system in Ontario on 5 salient areas: Getting In, Equitable Participation, Anti-Discrimination, Support, and Moving On.

This report was instrumental in setting the trajectory of several positive advancements in education access for folks with precarious immigration statuses.

Due to regressions observed in recent times, and by support and funding from the Maytree Foundation, we are working on a more extensive version of the 2016 report card.

  • Phase 1: 2024 School Year End [Assessing Elementary, Secondary & Post-Secondary System with List of Areas Of Improvement]
  • Phase 2: 2025 School Year End [Updates on Implementation of Suggestions]

The Uprooted Youth Committee (UYC) comprised of newcomer youth who are either in the Ontario education system or that are faced with barriers in accessing education are spearheading the project.

You can get involved by sharing resources on similar projects or by reaching out to organize a satellite focus group led by the UYC.

For more information about Access to Education and the Uprooted series contact:

Centre for Refugee Children Online Info Hub

The Centre for Refugee Children has helpful information online for refugee children and youth about immigration processes, refugee claims, and settlement into your new community:

Centre for Refugee Children Online Info Hub