Youth University

Inspiring and preparing leaders for the 21st century

Photo of an aerial view of the Brock University campus

Nearing the end of high school, students face the expected question “what do you want to do after you graduate?” After a fast four years, some are eager to start building on a career of choice. However, for many of these 17- and 18-year-old graduates, they do not have a clue what career path interests them. Many go on to do a “victory lap,” an extra year of earning high school credits that gives a little breathing room to shed some light on their options. But there may be another aid to help guide them in a direction.

Students may like to get a feel for the land lay of the land by going on a Youth University program. Offered through Brock University and held on its campus in St. Catharines, these programs provide students in grades 9–12 with the opportunity for unique hands-on experiential learning and skill building. In the school trip adventures, small groups of young people work with university student mentors to discover new interests, develop 21st century skills and learn more about post-secondary education pathways.

Youth University aims to inspire and prepare leaders for the 21st century. Its programs, activities, and research focus on key skills and knowledge needed for success in a world where change is constant and learning is life-long.

One of the exciting high school programs offered is a one-day outdoor adventure. The Outdoor Adventure program is ideal for those students in, or considering, the SHSM program in the sector of Sports & Health and Wellness.

The Outdoor Adventure program is rooted in experiential education methodologies and includes group team building, personal development, and creative problem solving through initiatives, low ropes and high ropes climbing experiences. Students will also have an opportunity to work on essential skills and work habits, observe outdoor education professionals, and learn about career options and post-secondary education pathways. This opportunity is further enhanced with a strong follow-up and reflection component.

Outcomes include an opportunity to develop awareness of, or build skills in:

  • Outdoor adventure education
  • Self-understanding and confidence
  • Teamwork, communication, and conflict resolution
  • Task leadership and problem solving
  • Career planning and PSE pathways

Youth University also offers awareness building and exploration programs for grades 9 and 10 that include the activities listed above as well as options in orienteering and hiking on the Niagara escarpment, as well as natural science, nutrition, and health science.

For more information about the programs offered to secondary students, please visit or call 905-688-5550 extension 3120.

About Ronda Allan
Ronda Allan is the Managing Editor of Education Forum and and works at Provincial Office as Publications Manager/Editorial Assistant.

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