Durham Educational Mentoring Program celebrates 18 years of teaching youth

Receives $55,700 OTF Grant to Rejuvenate Community Organization

Saturday mentoring and tutoring program

On Saturday morning as the participants of the Durham Educational Mentoring Program (DEMP) were gathered for their last session of 2022 at Pickering High School, the impact of the $55,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant that DEMP received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) was highlighted. Tom Wall, an OTF volunteer and Sameer Awan, Executive Assistant to Ajax MPP Patrice Barnes, delivered congratulations on the work done with the grant, which was awarded earlier this year.

“Dr. Thompson and his group of volunteers from the DEMP (Durham Educational Mentoring Program) has been an integral part of the community for many years,” said Patrice Barnes, MPP for Ajax. “The passion they have for student success can be seen in the fantastic tutoring and mentorship programs they offer, it helps students to close gaps and feel motivated towards their own success.”

Funds from the grant are being used to hire outside experts to provide training for DEMP’s board members, advise tutors on

Saturday mentoring and tutoring program

best practices, and help develop new financial stability strategies for going forward. The grant also helped the organization purchase the technical equipment needed to support its virtual services.

“I am delighted to congratulate Durham Educational Mentoring Program on their success throughout the past year. DEMP has continued to be a tireless advocate and champion in the growth of the youth in our communities. This grant reflects the hard work this organization does on a daily basis and I look forward to seeing the continued success of this program,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge.

DEMP is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that provides educational mentoring to K-12 students of Durham Region, specifically those in Pickering and Ajax. Its mission is to support, develop and promote the advancement of children and youth in the community by enabling them to reach their academic and life goals, and thereby maximizing their potential. Through the new virtual initiatives, added to in-person ones as well, these mentoring programs provide the support needed to help all students develop and maintain the building blocks for a successful future, both mentally and physically.

Lunch time at the Saturday mentoring and tutoring program

“The organization was created in 2004, becoming incorporated in 2007. The cadre of volunteer teachers/mentors provides educational mentoring to students primarily in the subject areas of English, mathematics and science,” said Dr. Reginald Thompson, President, DEMP. “Over the past 18 years, the organization has made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of students from Durham and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.”

DEMP’s website is www.demp-on.org and it can also be found on Facebook.k.

LJI Reporter