Thanks to additional support from the Cowan Foundation, the YMCA Alternative Suspension program was officially launched at the YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo earlier this school year. In January, Peter Dinsdale, President and CEO of YMCA Canada, had the opportunity to personally thank representatives from the Cowan Foundation, Cowan Insurance Group, and Frank Cowan Company when they visited the YMCA Canada office.
Developed by the YMCAs of Quebec in 1999 in response to a request by an inner-city school in Montreal, YMCA Alternative Suspension works with young people to reduce their likelihood of repeat suspensions and other disciplinary measures, thereby increasing their chances of school success. The program’s achievements have been far-reaching, with 80% of students not being suspended again following their participation.
The Cowan Foundation currently provides funding for seven YMCA Member Associations to offer YMCA Alternative Suspension in about two dozen locations from coast to coast, positively changing the lives of close to 2,000 youth every year.