ngage. Empower. Connect (E2C) delivers for Oakville’s youth
This fall, youth from across Oakville participated in Engage. Authorize. Connect (E2C) – a project created by Actua and run by Sheridan students that aims to empower youth to responsibly explore, create and connect online. As a member of the Actua network, Sheridan’s Youth Amplified Initiative was a key partner in piloting the E2C Cyber Smart Education program.
The E2C program empowers youth to be responsible digital citizens and create positive and inclusive spaces online, while addressing the risks associated with online interactions and how to avoid them. The curriculum also introduces youth to fulfilling careers in cybersecurity.
“We are thrilled that Sheridan’s Youth Amplified Initiative is advancing our pilot for intelligent cyber education among local youth,” said Jennifer Ladipo, Manager of National Programs, Actua.
“Youth Amplified plays a critical role in helping Actua find the most meaningful and effective way to empower youth with the skills and confidence to critically evaluate online interactions, proactively counter online threats, and embrace technology in innovative ways , to use it in a healthy and safe way.”
In partnership with the Oakville YMCA, Sheridan’s Youth Amplified team piloted E2C over six weeks in after-school programs and youth groups in multiple locations throughout the city of Oakville. Julia Catalano, Community Engagement Specialist at Sheridan, has been instrumental in leading the partnership with the Oakville YMCA and other community partners, as well as guiding our student educators.
“We are very excited to partner with Sheridan College to offer STEAM workshops and the E2C program within our programs,” said Teresa Rinaldi, YMCA Manager of Camp, Community Outreach and Special Events.
“The content is interesting, age appropriate and relevant to issues our students face on a daily basis and the facilitators have a passion for the subject and it shows,” added Alicia McDonald, Onsite Supervisor, St Andrew Child Care at the YMCA, added from Oakville.
Sheridan students were trained to deliver program content prior to the start of the pilot program. As facilitators, they played an important role in the student experience and program delivery for 2nd through 12th graders.
“Each week we engage in fun and educational activities, play games and strengthen our technology skills together in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment,” said Andreja Morrison, Student Team Lead for Youth Outreach Programs at Sheridan and a fourth-year Bachelor Interaction student Design.
“E2C is a wonderful program that gives children the knowledge and expertise they need to navigate the sometimes confusing world of the internet with confidence. As I often say when I talk about E2C, I wish I had had something like this growing up.”
The E2C pilot is part of Sheridan’s effort to support youth in Halton and Peel who face obstacles with the tools and resources they need to access post-secondary education and thrive. “Education has the power to transform lives, and our youth deserve the opportunity to pursue it,” said Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor of Sheridan.
“I’m proud of Sheridan’s Youth Amplified and the strides we’ve made to create more pathways to higher education through our programs.”
In the past year, Youth Amplified programs reached more than 350 youth across Halton and Peel with the help of over 50 Sheridan students and staff who shared their expertise as mentors or guest speakers. The initiative also forged 11 partnerships with organizations across the community including the Peel Regional Police which has been instrumental in its growth.
“Sheridan College and Peel Regional Police share a shared vision, built on the knowledge that education is a positive and powerful path to a better future,” said Chief Nishan Duraiappah of Peel Regional Police.
“By providing access to post-secondary education, Sheridan and its partners provide safe places for our young people to develop the skills, recognize the risks and responsibilities that come with being a positive member of the community.”
Chief Duraiappah and the Peel Regional Police have also contributed in an advisory capacity to the development of Actua’s E2C programme, bringing it full circle.
Sheridan’s School of Applied Computing has been a key player in supporting local youth interested in computer science. Last summer, it hosted its first in-person computer science camp for youth ages 11-14 at the Sheridan Davis campus in Brampton.
The School of Applied Computing also partnered with the Brampton Chapter of Black Boys Code in November to welcome 25 boys ages 12-17 to an introductory computer science workshop using Python 3.
Learn more about Youth Amplified at Sheridan by visiting the Youth Amplified page or by viewing the 2021-2022 Youth Amplified Impact Report.