St. Clair College Youth Mentorship Hub dedicated at Habitat for Humanity

AM800-News-Khaled El-Haj

A space designed to help young people learn valuable skills and receive training has been dedicated at Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex.

The St. Clair College Youth Mentorship Hub, located at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store on Edinborough Street, is being supported by the college and the St. Clair College Alumni Assocation.

The hub allows co-op students and volunteers a space to work along side officials with Habitat for Humanity to learn about everything from administrative business, marketing, communications and fundraising.

16-year-old Vincent Massey High School student Khaled El-Haj has been moving through the mentorship hub and highly recommends the experience.

"A lot of people go into co-op thinking it's free labour, when you're actually learn a skill that will benefit you in the future," he says. "The program is very good experience. I never knew how to do trim or lining at the house. I'm learning many things like flooring, I'm learning a bunch of stuff. I love the experience so far and I highly recommend it for people."

AM800-News-St. Clair College Youth Mentorship Hub

The St. Clair College Youth Mentorship Hub has been dedicated at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store on Edinborough Street in Windsor. Nov. 7, 2023. (Photo: Rusty Thomson)

Community Engagement Manager with Habitat for Humanity, Hope Lovell, says the support is important to provide the space to train more people doing different things.

"Safety, PPE, it's costly. So if we want to keep these programs going, we do need that type of funding so we can them here at the store, on the build site, on the repair program," she says. "Funding is essential, we don't do it without the community behind us. St. Clair College is integral to our ability to have these many youth working with us and this much training offered."

President of St. Clair College, Dr. Patti France, says they have a long history with Habitat for Humanity.

"Making sure we can continue that lifelong learning, that opportunity, that experience for students and volunteers, we thought was a great connection for St. Clair," she says.

Between 150 to 200 high school and St. Clair College students will move through the hub each year, either in a co-op, job placement, volunteer opportunity or to earn their community service hours.