YEP & GizmoGrind partner to teach mobile devices to adults and seniors

For years, Youth Empowering Parents has been engaging young people in communities across Toronto to provide 1-on-1 teaching to local adults and seniors. Programs operate in pre-existing community facilitates; for example, a computer course would take place at a local school or library, where computer equipment already exists.

A new partnership with GizmoGrind will help YEP bring its programming to areas that lack the requisite community infrastructure for digital literacy training.

GizmoGrind, an online platform allowing the quick sale of Smartphones for business and consumers of iPhones and Androids, has supplied YEP with smartphone and tablet devices. The partnership will allow hundreds of under-served Torontonians to participate in digital literacy training, particularly those living in areas with limited access to technology, as well as to seniors with mobility challenges.

“There is no training program in my neighbourhood so it is really helpful to have this opportunity,” says Eva, one of YEP’s beneficiaries (pictured left).

Santosh, a senior participant, is excited for the opportunity to learn technology for the first time. Mobile devices from GizmoGrand will allow digital literacy training to take place directly in her building, where over 80 seniors live. “It’s hard for us to travel to a program somewhere else. It’s great that we will be able to learn this right in our building. There are so many of us who are interested.”

“Being a part of something that has shown its ability to increase the potential for employment, as well as improve community bonds by using families to train each other, is quite heartwarming,” says Ahmed Bafagih, founder of GizmoGrind. “I grew up in one of YEP’s communities, and YEP is making an impact improving the lives of people who are part of my community.”

About GizmoGrind

GizmoGrind is an online platform allowing the quick sale of Smartphones for business and consumers of iPhones and Androids. (You can only sell online to us, you can’t buy a phone through GizmoGrind)

Users of GizmoGrind can get an instant quote for their used phone online and we facilitate all shipping from all over Canada. Once we receive the device, we assess and send payment online. The whole process takes about 3 days.

GizmoGrind plants one tree for every device sold through our partnership.

To learn more about GizmoGrind, visit:

YEP Partners with Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation

October 6, 2017: The Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation works with agencies and other partners across Ontario that specifically target building skills, providing training, and overall improve employability of Ontarians. OCWI was interested in looking at the YEP model and program and seeing how we provide employment skills to youth and to adults, and what gaps we fill in. YEP has recently partnered with OCWI who will be conducting a case study about the program. For more information about the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation and their projects, please take a look at their website:

YEP highlighted by MaRS in the Strategic Framework for Youth Leadership and Innovation in Canada

January 10th, 2017: The Strategic Framework for Youth Leadership and Innovation in Canada report by MaRS has highlighted Youth Empowering Parents as a program that fosters business incubation, networking and mentorship within Canada’s youth leadership and innovation “ecosystem”.

To check out MaRS’ insights from the 2016 National Youth Leadership and Innovation Strategy Summit, click on this link:

York University and YEP embrace “Teacher Education for High Poverty Schools”

January 5th, 2017: For the last few years, Youth Empowering Parents has partnered with York University Teacher’s College – Faculty of Education. Each year, students from this program get the opportunity to complete their community practicum with YEP. YEP has benefited a great deal from having these amazingly talented students work with us, and the Regent Park community has also benefited from this relationship as well. Recently, a book has been published titled “Teacher Education for High Poverty Schools”, where YEP and the Regent Park neighbourhood are mentioned under the chapter by Alison Griffith and Sherri Gilbert, “Learning to Teach in the Park: The York University Regent Park Initiative”. This chapter can be read through this link:

YEP Receives the 2016 Urban Leadership Award

December 2nd, 2016: Youth Empowering Parents is happy to announce that we have been awarded the 2016 Urban Leadership Award. YEP has been recognized as an emerging organization that is helping to improve the health and overall quality of life in the Greater Toronto Area. We would like to thank Canadian Urban Institute for this huge honour.

2015 Toronto Vital Signs Report Released

January 22nd, 2016: YEP is highlighted as an innovative community-based program addressing issues relating to learning on the 2015 Toronto Vital Signs report. To read the 2015 Vital Signs Report by the Toronto Foundation, click this link:

YEP Featured by CBC News

December 20th, 2015: A CBC news article was published this December on the YEP program in Rose Avenue Public School, located in the St. James Town community. Keep up the great work St. James Town!!!

New Horizons for Seniors Program

September 3rd, 2015: YEP has has partnered with Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation of Toronto, the Reitman Centre at Mount Sinai, WoodGreen Community Services, the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, North York Community House and Toronto Community Housing in a project to receive nearly 3.7 million in funding. The Toronto Engagement to Reduce Isolation of Caregivers at Home and Enhancing Seniors (ENRICHES) impact plan aims to increase socializing and reduce social isolation in seniors across Toronto. Through this initiative, YEP will be holding programs specifically geared towards senior caregivers.

YEP Named Recipient of .CA Community Investment Program

May 28th 2015: Youth Empowering Parents (YEP) is proud to announce that it is one of the recipients of the .CA Community Investment Program for 2015. The .CA Community Investment Program was created by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) and supports projects that will improve Canada’s Internet community. The program provides funding for research, infrastructure, online services or digital literacy projects.

“[Canada’s not-for-profit] sector has an important role to play in our collective national response to the most persistent and pressing digital divides. Our .CA Community Investment Program is designed to ensure that these innovators have the resources they need to experiment with solutions and deliver necessary new services,” said Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA.

YEP’s innovative program that trains at-risk youth to teach computer skills to disadvantaged adults and seniors from the same language/cultural background has so far been replicated in 5 communities. Despite the demand for the YEP program in several other Canadian cities, YEP’s replication has been limited to Toronto, as training is currently structured to be delivered in-person.

With support from the.CA Community Investment Program, YEP is now working towards making its United Nations award winning computer training program and curriculum available to all Canadian communities. Expansion will be done through an online platform, with webinars and an online replication toolkit comprised of training modules and videos that will be accessible to the public. With this initiative, other organizations can operate YEP at their facilities, and thousands of disadvantaged adults and seniors across Canada will be trained in digital literacy.