Jean-Pierre Phaneuf, Jean-Guy Marsan, Huguette Piché et Louis-André Bellemare

April 2015

Located in Verdun, a district with one of the highest school dropout rates in Montreal, L’Ancre des Jeunes has developed a unique approach to helping young people stay in school. It boasts a 90% success rate, made possible especially thanks to the involvement of committed volunteers who are dedicated to creating a healthy and welcoming environment where young people having difficulties in school can get back on the road to success.

Jean-Pierre Phaneuf, Jean-Guy Marsan, Huguette Piché and Louis-André Bellemare have more than 66 years of experience between them serving as volunteers at L’Ancre des Jeunes. The alternative to the traditional school is still an emerging concept in Quebec, so these four volunteers had to roll up their sleeves and show a lot of boldness to work in this uncharted territory. They managed to meet the challenge of offering a combination of personalized schooling, a psychosocial approach to getting back on track, and personal development through the arts. By working with extraordinary perseverance themselves, they were able to instill this value in the young people helped by the agency. Indeed, a number of former participants come back two, five or even ten years later to share their success with these dedicated volunteers and to thank them for changing their lives.

The sustained involvement of Jean-Pierre, Jean-Guy, Huguette and Louis-André is a source of inspiration to the thousands of young people, families, volunteers, social practitioners and partners who make up the community of L’Ancre des Jeunes. By renewing their commitment year after year, they nurture the hope that we can make a difference while infusing young people with the confidence they need to meet their challenges.

Centraide has supported L'Ancre des Jeunes since 1993.

Jean-Pierre Phaneuf, Jean-Guy Marsan, Huguette Piché and Louis-André Bellemare are the winners of the Solidaires Citizen Involvement 2015.