PROFILE: Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club

Dovercourt Boys and Girls club logo
Dovercourt Boys and Girls club logo

The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, a.k.a. “The Club that Beats the Streets”, is a fun-filled program that not only offers kids the chance to get involved during the summer through their amazing summer camps, but also throughout the year with their after school and weekend programming.

First opening their doors to young boys and girls in 1958, the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club has grown to accommodate   over 100 campers age 4-17 each summer at both their main location and at St. Anthony’s Catholic School across the street. Their facilities at their main location (180 Westmoreland Avenue) includes a pool, activity rooms, plus a playground and soccer field right outside!

Campers showing their love for camp staff in a DOG PILE!

The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club have been associated with the Focus on Youth program for several years now and employ many Focus on Youth staff every year to help out and ensure the successful running of camp throughout the summer months. “It gives youth the opportunity to gain valuable experience working with kids,” says Mannie D’Elia, Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club program director.

Focus on Youth staff (left to right) – Jordan, Rosemary, Rayon, Gabriel, Kayla, Mikal, Mariana, Shania, Jessica, Ramon, Ramez, Ranee, Lily


Organization: Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club


Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club

180 Westmoreland Ave

Toronto, Ontario

M6H 3A2

St. Anthony Catholic School

130 Shanly Street

Toronto, Ontario

M6H 1L9


9 Weeks

June 29th – August 28th


Contact Info:

Mannie D’Elia – Program Director

(416) 536-4102


PROFILE: Triple Balance Community Services



Campers getting ready to play Superhero

Triple Balance Community Services has been part of the TCDSB’s Focus on Youth program for 3 years. Their summer camp’s mission is to provide an affordable, fun and fulfilling program to connect families and youth to recreational activities.

3 balance dodge
Triple Balance campers dodging balls like pros while playing Duck Hunters

The summer camp program is designed for recreational purposes such as arts, sports and leadership activities. Their week’s schedule also include group excursions to educational and fun sites such as the Ripley’s Aquarium and the Ontario Science Centre.

Young artists creating masterpieces with Perler Beads

With the help of Focus on Youth’s staff, Triple Balance’s summer camp has helped expand its program to more participants, providing a safe setting for youth helping students enjoy their summers.

Triple Balance Staff
Focus on Youth staff: Zackery Peroune, Julian Marincola, Miranda Abis, Caseyann Goore


Organization: Triple Balance Community Services

Location: 20 Starview Lane
North York, ON, M9M 3B2

Dates/Times: July 2 – August 8, Monday-Friday, 8AM-4PM

Also follow them on Facebook at:

Contact Info: Bryan Cando
Tel: (416)-319-5154


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PROFILE: Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre


Leaders lining up to play Bring Me the Bacon

Youth Employment Experience (YEP) is a program for 13-16 year-old participants. Their main focus is to their increase participants’ involvement and leadership within the community, increase their pre-employment knowledge and skills, their confidence and ability to access relevant community resources, and to provide opportunities meet other young people.

Davenport-Perth community leaders listening attentively to instructions

The participants undergo training within the first two weeks, followed by placements 3 days a week , while the other two days they continue to attend training workshops. YEP also provides weekly fun social and recreational outings and special events for participants over the summer, such as a team-building experience at High Park.

All leaders participating in Monster instructed by Benedict Mercado.

Youth Employment Experience decided to partner with Focus on Youth in order to increase opportunities for young people to access employment experience, to have more staffing support to run our summer programs and to increase access to community space.

Focus on Youth staff: Benedict Mercado


Organization: Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre

Location: 1900 Davenport Road
Toronto, ON  M6N 1B7

Ages: 13-16

Dates/Times: 6 week program
11 a.m – 3 p.m


Contact Info:
Swelen Andari
Youth Program Worker, Children and Youth Services
T 416 656 8025 x244
F 416 656 1264

Leaders playing Cheat. “I put down two Jacks,” said Ines. “Cheat!!” yelled Mark.


Picture of a Bison captured at High Park’s zoo


Participants joining in for a good ol’ fashion game of cards

PROFILE: Belka Enrichment Camp (St. Charles Garnier)


Belka Enrichment  Logo
Click on the logo to visit their website

“I wanted the children to know that their staff are more than just leaders but also amily. Everything we do at this camp, we do it for the future of the children. In fact, they are the future.” – Dennis Kershino, Organization Supervisor of Belka Enrichment Camp (St. Charles Garnier)

Organization Supervisor and children of the camp.
Organization Supervisor proudly posing with his campers.

Belka Enrichment Center is an non-profit organization that strives at developing the academic and social potential of children living in high-risk areas in and around inner city of Toronto. The camp was founded by the Caribbean Global Missions over 10 years ago with a genuine and life-changing purpose in mind. Belka Enrichment Center has numerous programs that run all year long.These programs allow children from kindergarten to grade 8 to get homework assistance, mentoring and build friendship. Their summer program specializes in sports such as: basketball, soccer and much more.

Children and staff playing basketball.
Belka Summer Sports Camp collaborated with Focus On Youth (FOY) in order for leaders to gain work experience and the chance inspire a multitude of children. However, the goal of this rewarding camp, is giving children to the opportunity to look up to their leaders as their own real brothers and sisters; not as authority figures.


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Children in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood are given the chance to flourish in a safe and loving environment with benefits such as a brighter future and the opportunity to build their interpersonal skills.

Their daily routine varies from day to day. Some days are spent practicing sports, enjoying arts and crafts, field trips and even preparing for their talent show!

Berta, a Focus on Youth staff talked about how fond of campers she had become: “Before you realize it, these children become a part of you. You realize how close you’ve become to them and wonder what it would be like when it’s over. I’ll miss them”. 


Organization: Belka Enrichment Camp

St. Charles Garnier Seperate School

20 Stong Crt

Toronto, ON


July 2nd – August 8th

9:00 AM – 3:30PM




Special Event: Celebration of Success 2013

Celebration of Success 2013

The University of Toronto’s Hart House


After a long six weeks, Focus on Youth’s 2013 summer program came to an end. To mark the occasion, staff and counselors were invited to a special Celebration of Success at the University of Toronto’s Hart House.



Christina Martin and Stefan Brum, the evening’s hosts

Stefan Brum and Christina Martin served as the evening’s MCs, keeping things light. The counselors listened to speeches from their peers, and staff like Angela Gauthier, Director of Education. The audience was also treated to a first look at the special promotional videos created by the Media Team. After a series of student performances, the guests were treated to a delicious buffet lunch, courtesy of Hart House.



The performances get the guests up and moving
One of the Media Team’s videos
The Media Team leads the crowd in the Wavin’ Flag dance


After lunch, the main speakers of the evening took the stage. First, teacher Peter Ranson spoke about how he got involved in Focus on Youth, and what it meant to him. Then, Shawn Burgess of the St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club talked about working with the Focus on Youth Student Counselors, and how it was an excellent experience. Finally, Orlando Bowen, Executive Director of the One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization, took the stage to tell a spellbound audience about his experiences with overcoming adversity, and becoming a better person because of it.

Peter Ranson
Shawn Burgess
Orlando Bowen

Afterwards, guests were treated to a special slide and video show by the Media Team, documenting their long journey throughout the program, before Program Coordinator Andre Fullerton came up to thank the staff and counselor, and give special mention to fellow coordinators and all-around problem solvers Janelle Curtis and Ashisha Persaud.

Janelle Curtis and Ashisia Persaud get special recognition from Andre Fullerton

With the ceremonies concluded, guests were invited out onto the patio to dance, grab some cake, take some fancy (or silly) photos at the Media Team’s photo booth, and get some info on their upcoming post-secondary education from booths set up by local universities.

Keenon Peterson and Jaeson Villanueva run the photo booth
The media team hard at work
Mingling on the patio
The photo booth


Students consider their future


A guide to the celebration can be found here:

Celebration Program (2)

Special Event: Caribana Launch

IMG_0971 IMG_0981 IMG_0976 IMG_1003 IMG_0990 IMG_0967 IMG_0985 DSCN0318

This year marked the 46th annual Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto, formerly know as Caribana. The kick-off event was hosted by the Toronto Police Services on Thursday, July 25th. The Service has had a float in the parade since 1991, and this year the theme was “Diversity in Motion.” Hundreds of campers from the Footsteps to Success program attended this event. It began with a live steel pan performance of songs like Bruno Mars’s “Just the Way You Are,” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” to which everyone in the room sang along to. There was also a  performance by a Juno award winning artist, and notable speakers such as:  Chief William Blair took the stage. After the speakers, women in gorgeous colourful, costumes adorned with feathers and face paint walked down the main stairs in the lobby and got everyone up on their feet – including Chief Blair and the other policemen! The campers then headed outside to continue the festivities. The rest of the day was filled with lots of music, singing, dancing, and authentic Caribbean food! Campers climbed onto the float as the ribbon was cut, signifying the official opening of Caribana.  In addition, the radio station 98.7 FM set up a tent with a DJ playing music that had everyone dancing. Overall the event was a huge success, enjoyed by many.

Profile: Footsteps to Success (Father Henry Carr)

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Footsteps to Success is one of two camps founded by Andre Fullerton and community partners. It is an initiative that is designed to help urban communities progress and  become involved with youth.




Footsteps Camp is for youth ages 10-15 and runs (like most FOY funded programs) for 6 weeks, free of admission. Footsteps at Father Henry Carr provides programs and activities for the youth of the Rexdale community. Campers have the opportunity to experience Sport, Art and Leadership activities. As a result, the youth are able to build friendships, leadership skills and have a memorable experience.




Focus on Youth students are mindful of Andre’s positive vision  . The students act as positive role models by using their skills and training to lead, supervise and relate with the youth. The leaders also bring forth a positive attitude that encourages a hospitable environment.




Organization: Footsteps to Success


Father Henry Carr C.S.S.
1760 Martin Grove Rd, Toronto, ON. M9V 3S4
Blessed Mother Teresa C.S.S.
40 Sewells Rd, Toronto, ON.
M1B 3G5

Ages: 10-15

Date/Times: July 2nd to August 9th, 9 AM – 4 PM


Contact info: 

Andre Fullerton
TCDSB Supervisor of Outreach, Community Use of Schools
Phone: 416-222-8282 ext. 2310

Profile: Recognize For Real

Recognize for Real is a youth organization that was founded in 2005. The program runs for 6 weeks and takes place at Monsignor Fraser and serves the surrounding community that is classified as a high-risk neighborhood.



The program focuses on making positive strides in the community  through leadership and sport initiatives, as well as encouraging participants and staff to become “REAL” (Respect Everyone and Life) individuals. The programs seek to provide youth with an enjoyable experience, positive role models and a foundation of life skills that will be beneficial in overcoming any challenge.


The Focus on Youth staff act as  mentors who are able to relate to the youth, as well as bringing positive influences and leadership. The students are from within the community, and take pride in knowing that they can guide the kids down the right path.



Organization: Recognize for Real (Monsignor Fraser, 45 Norfinch Ave.)

Dates/Times: July 2nd to August 9th

Contact Info:, 647-8237325

Profile: St. Andrews Summer Camp

 St. Andrews Summer Camp


St. Andrews Summer Camp was founded 8 years ago by the parish of St. Andrews. It has since grown and developed to serve the church community, as well as the surrounding Rexdale community.




The Camp is geared towards children aged 5-12, and its runs for 6 weeks. In addition, the camp integrates religion into its sports and recreation activities to provide the children with a fun experience while building  positive attitudes, leadership and problem solving skills.



The Focus on Youth staff provide a helping hand, take initiative, and use the skills they have gained from Camp Olympia and other experiences.




Organization: St. Andrews Summer Camp (St. Andrew Catholic School, 2533 Kipling Avenue)

Ages: 5-12

Dates/Times: 6 weeks in the summer, Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4

Contact Information:


Profile: Saint Christopher’s House


The Saint Christopher’s House camp at Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic Elementary School is a great place for kids to spend the day and have fun. With small classrooms like these, it is easy for the organization to give the kids all the attention they need. The kids are split into groups, where they play games for their age group. They can even bring their own games or handhelds from home to play. With all sorts of events and special days (like pizza lunch), these kids are always excited and ready for the next day.


The Saint Christopher’s House camp runs for eight weeks in the summer, and through the year with an after school program.


The kids are always excited for trips, such as their upcoming one to Jays camp day. They have already enjoyed their trips to Wild Water Kingdom, Center Island, and the ROM.


The Focus On Youth leaders are a great help, because they give the children more attention than regular employees alone can. It is a great help for the kids to have leaders who are closer in age to them than the adults.DSCN0302




Organization: Saint Christopher’s House

Location(s): Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic Elementary School, 30 Humbert Street

Ages: All ages

Dates/Times: 8 weeks in the summer


Contact Info:

Telephone: (416) 532 4828

Notes: Go to their website for more information.

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