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CNIB Learning Academy

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Canadian youth with sight loss are invited to join CNIB Learning Academy for engaging virtual and in-person programs offered throughout the year! Our programs challenge youth from grades six to first year of post-secondary studies to develop pre-employment, leadership, independence and social skills. 

All Learning Academy programs are tailored to grade level categories. Please read program descriptions carefully. 

Current Programs:

Youth Job Club

Every Monday (February 26-March 25) ; 7 to 8 p.m. ET via Zoom. 

Start your journey seeking a part-time or summer job with CNIB Learning Academy’s Youth Job Club! 

There is no time like the present to begin your work experiences. Having a part-time or summer job will put some money in your pocket, and you give valuable skills that employers are looking for. Facilitated by staff with sight loss, this five-session program will give participants an edge in looking for your first summer or part-time job by exploring the following topics: 

  • Learn about what motivates you, and your working style through Personality Dimensions© 
  • Find job opportunities and polish your elevator pitch.
  • Polish your resume and write a great cover letter. 
  • Preparing for job interviews.  
  • Disclosure: sight loss in the job application process.  

Virtual sessions are hosted on Zoom every Monday (February 26th to March 25) from 7 to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Zoom information will be sent after registering.

Youth with sight loss who are interested in seeking part-time or summer employment, and who are eligible to work in their province of residence are eligible to attend this program.  

To register or fore more information, please contact Jennifer Hopkins, Program Coordinator, Learning Academy at jennifer.hopkins@cnib.ca or call 437-335-6845. Please include your resume with your registration if you have one.  

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Primary Explorers (Grades 4-6)

July 8-12, 2024; 12 to 1 p.m. ET via Zoom. 

This one-week virtual camp is about becoming aware of the world of work and how it relates to us at a very early age. We will address the basic questions like What is a job? What sorts of jobs do our family members have? Why is work important?

Attendees will learn how to perform their own research through casual conversation with family and community acquaintances. Through short group conversations, fun interactive educational games, interesting guest speakers and playful exercises, participants will learn to dream big and expand their possibilities for the future.

Register for Primary Explorers
The registration deadline for the Primary Explorers program is Friday, June 7, 2024. To participate, complete the application form. 

Download the CNIB Learning Academy Primary Explorers Program 2024 Application.

For additional information or application details please contact Jennifer Hopkins, Program Coordinator, Learning Academy at jennifer.hopkins@cnib.ca or call 437-335-6845.

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Junior Explorers (Grades 7 & 8)

2024 Dates TBC. 

Get the jump on high school with this unique virtual program. Participants will explore their skills and strengths, hear from successful visually impaired community members about their careers, and learn about best practices for academic success. 

Participants begin to build foundations for this important transition and plant the seeds for early career recognition and exploration. Program content will be delivered in a fun and engaging style utilizing group games, challenges, and chats.

Stay tuned for confirmed dates and updates to the Junior Explorers program! 

To be notified of upcoming Junior Explorers sessions or for more information, please contact Jennifer Hopkins, Program Coordinator, Learning Academy at jennifer.hopkins@cnib.ca or call 437-335-6845.

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Young Achievers (Grades 9 &10)

2024 Dates TBC. 

Get serious about your academic and career goals with Young Achievers. This bridging program to the flagship SCORE Scholars program helps participants build fundamental analytical and goal setting skills. Early volunteer, summer and part time jobs are discussed in relationship to long term school and career aspirations. Special guest speakers who experience vision loss and are leaders in their field will provide personal stories for inspiration. 

Please note for the 2025 SCORE Scholars program, applicants with at least one successfully completed Learning Academy program will be given preference for inclusion. Young Achievers can be that important program for consideration!

Stay tuned for confirmed dates and updates to the Young Achievers program! 

To be notified of upcoming Young Achievers sessions or for more information, please contact Jennifer Hopkins, Program Coordinator, Learning Academy at jennifer.hopkins@cnib.ca or call 437-335-6845.

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SCORE Scholars (Grades 11, 12 & first year post-secondary)

July 13 – 27th, 2024 (in person)
Application deadline: Friday, April 12, 2024

Put down the textbooks and join CNIB this summer for this unique all-expenses-paid opportunity! This transformational experience will provide you with an edge in your academic and job-seeking goals. Discover and explore your potential through educational and empowering activities while connecting with like-minded peers.

SCORE Scholars programming helps participants build essential leadership, independence, pre-employment, and social skills. We’ll explore the city of Toronto by visiting restaurants and local attractions. Accommodations and programming will take place at the Seneca College Newnham campus near Yonge and Finch. 

Originally the National SCORE (Skills, Confidence & Opportunities through Recreation & Education) Program and now part of Learning Academy as SCORE Scholars, this is a two-week in-person commitment. 

Apply now to CNIB Learning Academy’s SCORE Scholars program to secure an admissions interview! 

Eligibility

To be considered for the SCORE Scholars program, applicants must: 

  • Be a Canadian student in grades 11, 12 or first year of post-secondary
  • Have strong orientation & mobility skills and independent living skills 
  • Be interested in experiential learning activities and developing leadership skills 
  • Be determined to work on personal independence and problem-solving skills
  • Have a demonstrated interest in putting personal strengths to use for the betterment of peers, family, and community 
  • Be committed to participating in all program activities. 

Apply for the 2024 SCORE Scholars program

To participate, complete the SCORE Scholars program application form, and answer questions about yourself, your interests, and goals. You’ll also need a letter of recommendation from an endorser who will be contacted. This should be someone who knows you well, like a CNIB staff member, teacher, workplace/volunteer supervisor or youth group leader. Additionally, you will include a 750-word essay introducing yourself and discussing how you’ll benefit from attending the SCORE Scholars Program. Please send a copy of your resume if you have one. 

Download the SCORE Scholars Application Form.

If your application is picked for an interview, you will be contacted and scheduled. Your parent or guardian will also be interviewed separately.

Submit the application by Friday, April 12, 2024 to Rhonda Underhill-Gray, Program Lead, Learning Academy at rhonda.underhill-gray@cnib.ca or call 647-535-8962.

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