A youth empowerment initiative that provides a higher learning opportunity and employable skills development in an experiential environment.
It all starts with PACTFashion – a free, introductory sewing and design course for youth. After teens complete the initial eight-week program, they’re encouraged to stay involved in PACT by enrolling in advanced programs and attending weekly drop-ins.
Youth that move on to the more advanced PACTFashion classes are given the opportunity to attend free leather work classes at The Make Den studios in Toronto. Here, they learn the fundamentals of working with leather over several weeks, producing high-quality items such as wallets, clutches and belts.
As with all PACT Life & Job Skills programs, students not only acquire both practical work and social skills, but are also encouraged to give back to the community through volunteerism. Items produced in the PACTFashion classes, such as baby bags, winter accessories and even prom dresses are donated to local agencies where they’re distributed to people in need.
The most dedicated and passionate youth are further supported, through the PACTFashion Business Incubator drop-in program, where they’re assisted in starting their own small fashion business or applying to post secondary fashion programs.
Here, the opportunity to learn to make and produce professionally handcrafted leather goods ~ while getting paid ~ is presented to those that show the most commitment.
Meanwhile, the PACT Online Entrepreneur program is leading a whole new set of youth; those with a desire to learn about self-employment and marketing. Taking a well-made, local and handcrafted product (PACTFashion leather belts), students learn the process of starting, branding and marketing a thriving, social entrepreneurial online business.
Those that advance through this program learn more in-depth social media marketing strategies, business logistics and equally important, teamwork and professionalism.