In 2019, Youth Ottawa partnered with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board to offer Rainbow Bridges in participating schools across Ottawa. Rainbow Bridges is an experiential program that works with high school students involved with the school’s GSA (gay-straight alliance or gender and sexuality alliance) to innovate new ways of creating safer schools.
To celebrate the end of Pride Month we want to shine light on the programs successful first year! Youth Ottawa and the OCDSB created a short video reel showcasing the partnership and goals of the program.
The goal of this unique program is to welcome incoming grade 9 students who will be entering high school by sharing content and support from current senior level high school students. This youth mentorship program advocates for 2SLGBTQ+ students at all levels of the school experience – from the classroom into the staff room and into the community.
In spite of the challenges 2020 brought, our students continued to amaze us by shifting their projects into an online format. We ran numerous workshops about 2SLGBTQ+ equity and peer support to set the stage for the process of creating meaningful art to share with these incoming students. The result is a series of beautiful films wherein youth offer advice and encouragement to younger students as they prepare to navigate new educational spaces.
Rainbow Bridges Video Reel
As a way to jump start the new school year in September, we will host a virtual film festival where all student films from the Rainbow Bridges project will be screened and celebrated. Announcements will be made this summer, so keep your eyes posted.
We are extending our bridge in September and welcoming new schools to register for the program. If you are interested in extending the rainbow over to your school, staff and students please fill out the form below and our Youth Ottawa coordinator will be in touch!