MISSISSAUGA, ON (September 1, 2022) – On August 31, 2022, Peel Children’s Aid Society (Peel CAS) celebrated the grand opening of its innovative Trailblazers Youth Centre, located on the lower level of the Peel CAS building at 25 Capston Drive in Mississauga. Children, youth, and families being served by the agency were invited to enjoy carnival games, fun activities, guided tours of the centre, and a youth dance performance. Attendees were able to experience some of the centre’s STEM programming, art room, mindfulness activities, and fitness facilities, while participating in basketball and cooking demonstrations.
“Together with our community we are proud to offer an inclusive space, dedicated to youth success,” said Mary Beth Moellenkamp, Acting CEO at Peel CAS. “Through the Trailblazers Youth Centre, Peel CAS aims to transform youth support in Ontario by applying a preventive lens to well-being, providing a safe environment in which children and youth can access the resources and supports to develop and grow.”
Peel CAS developed the Trailblazers Youth Centre to create an innovative and equitable service delivery model – developed and led by youth – for children and youth to access exceptional services and supports to thrive, belong, build life-long connections, and position themselves as leaders. Youth representatives have been involved in the centre from its inception, offering guidance and feedback on interior design elements, programming options, branding, and even the centre’s name.
The name “Trailblazers Youth Centre” was selected as the winning submission from more than 90 names contributed by youth who are or have been involved with Peel CAS. The contributor provided the following rationale to explain her name suggestion:
A trailblazer is someone that is not afraid to try something new. They pioneer their own path, even if it means taking the path less beaten. They're brave, innovative and don't back down. As a crown ward, I know all kids in care will appreciate this centre, not just because of what they can do there – but because this centre represents the bright, trailblazing future ahead of each and every youth.
The second-place winner, “Together We Thrive,” will be incorporated into marketing materials for the centre as a tagline or motto.
The Trailblazers Youth Centre was made possible by the generous support of the Peel Children's Aid Foundation, which has raised more than $500,000 for both capital costs and program funding. Key donors have included Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), the Jays Care Foundation, and Raptors 905. These partnerships continue to be immensely beneficial to the centre and to the children and youth it serves. In addition to the generous financial contributions these donors have offered, Peel CAS and Peel CAF have been able to access leading edge research from MLSE Launchpad, as well as enriching sport programs for youth.
The programs and services offered through the centre are designed to align with the key pillars of Ontario’s Child Welfare Redesign Strategy, in particular, strengthening youth supports to help young people succeed. The centre will offer an array of opportunities for fun and recreation, while learning important life skills, building social connections with peers, and accessing services to support well-being.
Now that the centre has launched, initial programming will be increased and expanded to develop a wraparound service model for youth. In future years, the Trailblazers Youth Centre programs and services will be extended to youth in the community, making it an inclusive gathering place for young people in Peel region.
About Peel Children’s Aid Society
Peel CAS strives to ensure the safety and well-being of children and strengthen families through partnership. The agency is proud to have the lowest number of children in care per capita in Ontario, believing that children belong at home with their families. Committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, Peel CAS partners with local organizations to provide culturally sensitive programming, and improve the lives of children, youth, and families. Learn more at www.peelcas.org, and connect via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
About Peel Children’s Aid Foundation
Peel Children’s Aid Foundation is a registered charity raising funds for programs that provide financial support, skills for success, educational opportunities, and most of all hope to children, youth, and families involved with Peel Children’s Aid Society.
Peel Children’s Aid Society