Academos Cybermentoring

Helping young people between 14 and 30 prepare their professional future and stay in school by putting them in direct contact with workers through its Web platform

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CA Canada
Web http://www.academos.qc.ca/
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About the project Edit

Academos helps young people between 14 and 30 prepare their professional future and stay in school by putting them in direct contact with workers through its Web platform and social media with the goal of making our society more educated, trained and prosperous.

More than 42,000 young people can exchange with more than 2,650 volunteers who support them in their career choices, help them find a path which will help them happy in their jobs later on.

Themes

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

By taking advantage of the Internet’s community potential since 1999 and looking to use it for social purposes made the organization a leader. Academos’ objective has always been to be a leader in cutting-edge technology to reach as many young people as possible.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

By connecting young people to trades people, we demystify the working world, confirm to young people that they can achieve their aspirations, reinforce motivation and studying at school, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge from one generation to another.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The project is deployed in more than 250 high schools and 10 CECEP’s across Quebec.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

For her PhD in psychology, Catherine Légaré designed an online mentoring program that connected students from Bois-de-Boulogne CEGEP to young retirees that she gave computer and Internet courses to.

Several studies show that career choice is a decision that has a direct influence on a teenager’s school and professional direction. Young people want to better understand the trades that interest them and get answers to fundamental questions like, “Will I be successful enough in school to be a surgeon? What is the typical day of a police officer?”

Legaré worked alone in the beginning, but over the years, use of Academos expanded and caught the interest of high schools. Realizing that this clientele had a great need for support, from 2003 and 2006 her team developed and tested specific tools for high school students in collaboration with the Minister of Education and 20 schools in Quebec.

In 2006, the project’s success brought in $2.6 million in financing from Quebec government’s Youth Action Strategy for three years. This would help deploy cybermentoring in French and English high schools.

Since then, Academos is in more than 250 high schools and welcomes 16,000 new students every year.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Academos Cybermentoring is part of the Quebec government’s 2009-2014 youth action strategy that promotes staying in school and facilitates careers choices. The organization is equally funded by many corporate partners, including: the Société de développement économique Ville-Marie, Association de la construction du Québec, l’Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec and the RONA foundation.


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