The struggle of landing your first full-time job is one many people can relate to. Crafting resumes, tracking down job leads, trekking across the city to interviews and waiting for the inevitable rejection can be stressful and often disheartening. Now imagine embarking on the job search weighed down by additional stressors: you’ve grown up in a marginalized community, your home life was unstable, your schooling was interrupted or never completed, or perhaps you are trying to enter the job market with a criminal record.

CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals is an organization committed to addressing barriers that affect Black youth as they transition from school to the beginning of their career development. Created in response to increased youth violence in Toronto1, CEE began working alongside youth aged 18-29 to develop programs and services that would help them overcome economic challenges and find financial freedom through Careers, Education and Empowerment (CEE).

CEE visualizes a society where Black youth can achieve financial prosperity and a high quality of life for themselves and their families. By adopting a holistic, person-centred and culturally relevant approach to programs, CEE has achieved much success in supporting youth who are out of school, out of work and facing major barriers to employment.

One of CEE’s most impactful programs, Digital Tech, empowers youth with skills that are in high demand by the technology industry. At zero cost, students are able to learn and apply skills in Technical Web Design, Social Media Management, and Computer Technology and Design. Other programs offer training in Culinary Arts, Entrepreneurship and Construction Trades. With these highly specialized programs, CEE is quickly establishing itself as a dynamic partner for job readiness.

As CEE scales up to meet the demand of the population it serves, it looks toward digital solutions to fill in the gaps. Kofi Hope, Executive Director at CEE, speaks about its vision saying, “At CEE, we’re passionate about helping more and more youth every year. Part of how we can have the impact we want is by using new and innovative technologies to become more efficient in everything we do. Technology can also let us collect and analyze data about the lives we are changing, helping us improve the way we deliver our programs to have maximum impact.”

Leveraging technology to solve the challenges that CEE faces will help it scale its work, which in turn will help support Black youth facing barriers to the job market. If you want to give back to CEE and help it scale up to meet its demand, register for Gift the Code 2017!

Interested in learning more about the other charities? Check out their charity pages!

1 https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2008/05/16/statscan_reports_rise_in_violent_youth_crime.html