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Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Dual Credit Program Announced

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The Right Honourable Paul Martin talks with Grade 11 St. Charles College student Vanessa Lewis about her experience in the (pilot) dual credit program at Laurentian University this past year and her plans to sign up for the new dual credit program beginning in the fall.

April 27, 2010 - The press room was filled to capacity at Laurentian University as the Right Honourable Paul Martin announced the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Dual Credit Program on April 27, 2010. In partnership with Laurentian and the Rainbow District School Board, the Sudbury Catholic District School Board made the announcement about this initiative that is the first of its kind in Ontario and is a program that enables Aboriginal youth to earn high school and university credits at the same time.

Throughout his business and political careers, the Right Honourable Paul Martin has been devoted to the cause of Canada’s Inuit peoples, First Nations and the Metis Nation. After retiring from politics, the former Prime Minister Paul Martin and his family established the Martin Aboriginal Initiative (MAI). MAI’s overall goal is to work with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples to enable them to enjoy greater economic self-reliance and an ever-increasing quality of life. The new dual credit program announce at Laurentian evolved as part of this initiative.

Domenic Giroux, President of Laurentian University talked excitedly about this new initiative. “Today’s announcement builds on the successful work completed in the Ontario college sector and the secondary school boards. This pilot program will extend the dual credit concept to the university environment for the first time ever in Ontario."

Jody Cameron, Sudbury Catholic District Board Chair also felt that it was an important and necessary step to support aboriginal youth. “The SCDSB is proud to support Aboriginal secondary students in such an exciting and innovative initiative. We continue to build pathways that engage, challenge and provide new and varied learning opportunities for Aboriginal students. It is through these real world opportunities that our youth can achieve success in the future."

Vanessa Lewis, a Grade 11 student from St. Charles College had the opportunity to be one of the few students chosen to be a part of the pilot dual credit program in Native Human Services with Laurentian this past year. According to Lewis, this program allowed her expand her plans for the future and the experience has been excellent. Lewis has, in fact, decided that she will be signing up for the new Entrepreneurship Dual Credit program for the fall.

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