Toronto, September 25, 2013 – The Ontario government and MaRS Discovery District are helping promising young leaders gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need to make positive social changes in their communities and across the province with an innovative new program.

The province is supporting MaRS in delivering Studio Y, a social impact and leadership academy. The program will include intensive training and mentoring for up to 25 youth ages 18 to 29, to build and refine their leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurial skills. The curriculum will be focused on helping participants become social entrepreneurs, change agents or civic leaders — turning their bright ideas into new businesses or solutions to challenges facing their communities.

“How do we create our best selves so we can build a better world? That’s the question a lot of us are asking, especially young talent from around Ontario. And that’s what Studio Y squarely focuses on — supporting young talent in realizing their full potential for transforming the future of Ontario and the world,” said Hamoon Ekhtiari, Director, Studio Y, MaRS Discovery District.

The Hon. Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services, said: “Ontario youth are some of the brightest and best educated in the world. By investing in programs like Studio Y, our government is helping our youth harness their great potential so they are better able to solve problems, foster social change and succeed in an increasingly complex world. It really is an investment in a better future.

Applications for Studio Y open on Oct. 1, 2013; the program will begin in Jan. 2014.

Studio Y builds on the commitments of Ontario’s Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed and Social Innovation Strategy by harnessing the creativity of young people to address the province’s current and future social challenges and opportunities.

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies. In the last three years, MaRS startup clients have raised over $750 million in capital, earned over $375 million in revenue and hired well over 3,500 workers into knowledge economy jobs.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Hughes
Manager, Media & Community Relations
MaRS Discovery District
416-673-8100 ext. 2710