Keeping Youth Safe
Prevention & Awareness

Interactive presentations supporting:

Student Success | Safe Schools | Equity & Inclusive Education

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Download our program brochure

School presentation FAQs

Many young people struggle alone with complex issues. On average, youth under pressure start considering leaving home at the age of 12 and leave by 15.[1] They run to the street where they can encounter people who exploit them, as they struggle to survive.

Our presentations explain risks and rights to youth in a clear, thorough way. We often meet kids who didn’t know the pain they are feeling at home or at school is a normal reaction to a terrible, unacceptable situation…and we assure them that help is available.” – Suzie, Prevention Program Supervisor

Our kids in shelter tell us they wish they had known the dangers of the street and the options that were available to them. We offer students current and comprehensive information and link them to resources in their local communities.

We also foster empathy and social justice by teaching students about the plight of their homeless peers, as well as ways to fundraise and advocate for them. We encourage young people to help themselves and each other.

Our customized in-school presentations have reached more than 500,000 students since 1987. About 35,000 students across the GTA participate in our presentations annually. Our testimonials indicate that our program has:

  • Prompted many students to seek support for challenges they face
  • Linked students with community resources and support
  • Discussed difficult topics in an age-appropriate, sensitive way to give students information to make better choices
  • Fostered students’ empathy and support for their peers and for homeless youth
  • Stopped many youth from running to the street

My students have been hearing both Before You Run in Grade 10 and Reality Check in Grade 12 for several years and I think it is a fantastic way to bookend their high school experience. The material is relevant and extremely informative." – Chaplain, Jean Vanier CHS, Richmond Hill

Before You Run (Grades 6 - 12)

Covers a broad range of youth risks and issues. Explains how the circumstances that lead young people to the street are as varied as the youth themselves. Discusses how the experiences of family breakdown, abuse, mental health, bullying, drugs, exploitation/online luring, and stress can act as contributing factors to youth homelessness.

Includes a video featuring Covenant House youth relating their real-life experiences.

Students are given information and resources to help them make better choices, and are encouraged to access help in their local communities.

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Phenomenal! Both the material and the delivery were excellent! This presentation was much more than youth homelessness. Bullying, abuse, drugs, alcohol and more were all covered in an interesting and informative way! I am so glad that we decided to have this presentation for our students." – Guidance Counsellor, Sir Alexander Mackenzie SPS, Toronto

More testimonials for Before You Run

Reality Check (Grades 6 –12)

Deglamourizes street life and discusses the struggle homeless youth face – how they're driven to steal, sell drugs or worse, targeted by predators and often trading their dignity to survive. Students also participate in an activity that highlights the hardship young people face while trying to live independently, without family support, education or a career.

Includes a video featuring Covenant House youth describing the challenges they faced on the street and what they’ve done to overcome them.

Students are encouraged to be future leaders, to volunteer in their communities, to give back and pay it forward. We also provide local resources where youth can get help or get involved.

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Dynamic, culturally-sensitive, genuine, charismatic and fact-based. The best and most informative presentation I have seen yet. Every school in the GTA should see this presentation." – Child & Youth Worker, Monsignor Fraser CSS, Toronto

More testimonials for Reality Check

Trafficked (Grades 7 –12)

Introduces sex trafficking as a home-grown issue, affecting our communities and our young people. Describes how victims are recruited and how unsuspecting young people, mostly girls, are being lured online, in malls and from schoolyards. Explains how trafficking victims can come from any background and how they can be lured as young as age 13 – by predators posing as romantic partners or friends.

Includes a video featuring a dramatization of a trafficked youth’s real-life experiences.

Students are given information, advice, and resource materials to help them protect themselves.

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This presentation connects with students on their level. It gives them the tools to identify the risk factors and behaviours involved in sex trafficking, as well as where to seek help if it’s needed. It is valuable knowledge that today’s youth need." – Teacher, Richmond Green SS, Richmond Hill

More testimonials for Trafficked

Former Toronto District School Board Director of Education Donna Quan (left) and Chair of Trustees Shaun Chen with Suzie Tarlattini, our Prevention Program Supervisor.

Contact us

Book a presentation for your school now

For more information, contact:

Youth Homelessness and Trafficking Prevention & Awareness Program
Covenant House Toronto
(416) 735-1389

[1] 101 Things You Need To Know About Youth Homelessness, St. Thomas University, NB, 2006.

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