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From our Donors & Supporters

Ana Maria Faria, donor and former staff member
Frontier College: An Important Part of My Life

Many people in Toronto are unfamiliar with Frontier College, and often mistake it for community college. But in fact it is Canada's original literacy organization, dating back to 1899, supporting children, youth, and adults as they learn how to read and write. 

Over 7 years ago I began working at Frontier College as the Manager of Individual Giving, and over time, I also volunteered with the Virtual Learning Portal, and today still remain a monthly major gift donor. It has been a remarkable experience and life-changing opportunity for me and my young family. 

Frontier College wasn’t just a great place to work, it became a great place to learn, a great place to share, and, most importantly, a great place to help make a difference in the lives of so many wonderful people across Canada. 

As part of my job, every day I would reach out to many likeminded individuals and share stories of our learners, both the struggles they faced and the successes they each experienced when they received the support and encouragement from the dedicated volunteers and staff.  

For me, more important than increasing financial resources necessary to ensure sustainability of program delivery right across Canada, was the deep sense of satisfaction knowing that one more child would receive their very own book to keep and read; that one more youth would have access to a personal tutor to help them complete their GED ; and that one more adult would get the literacy training they need to secure and maintain employment.  

As volunteer tutor I was humbled and blessed to meet my learner who lived in Sudbury, Ontario.  He taught me to appreciate the little things in life  while I helped him learn how to count to 100 and identify the alphabet in both English and French. I was enriched by this opportunity. 

After a long day at Frontier College, it was common practice for me and my 2 ½ year old son to read often 4 or 5 children’s books at bedtime. Over the years, reading has become an important party of my son’s life, such that every year he has been asking his friends to support Frontier College with a financial donation instead of receiving birthday presents. 

Frontier College will always be an important part of my life, not only because of the people and the lasting friendships I have made, but for the impact it has had on my life. Frontier College is a solid charity that truly cares about the people it supports. I encourage everyone to donate to Frontier College and help others learn to read and write eventually giving them the opportunity to succeed in life.

Shelagh Rogers, host CBC Radio — The Next Chapter
“I became involved with Frontier College as a volunteer for the Peter Gzowski golf tournaments (PGI) for literacy. Meeting the people who have learned to read later in life has been profoundly inspiring. They have become my heroes. Also, it turns out that all of my closest friends are involved in literacy in some way. You could say that Frontier College has changed my life, too.”
Gerry McCaughey, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, CIBC
“Frontier College has been on the forefront of literacy in Canada for more than 100 years and continues to be a leader, reaching out to people and responding to their learning needs. Furthermore, they provide critical youth leadership development to thousands of university-aged volunteers each year. I am pleased to be involved with and support Frontier College.”
R. Roy McMurtry, Q.C. Former Frontier College Labourer-Teacher and former Chief Justice of Ontario
“I was first introduced to Frontier College and Dr. Edmund Bradwin…in the spring of 1952. Bradwin inspired me to believe that working as a Labourer-Teacher ten hours a day, six days a week, and teaching new immigrants at night, was a special privilege. My summers with Frontier College taught me the great fulfillment and even joy that can be obtained through public service. I shall always be grateful to Dr. Bradwin for his inspiration and for his lessons so well taught.”
Murray McLauchlan, Singer-Songwriter
“As a Canadian and a long-time friend and supporter of Frontier College, I am deeply honoured to be associated with a Canadian not-for-profit organization whose work has such a profound and positive effect on the lives of those it touches.”
Janet Cloud, Frontier College donor, tutor and former Board Member
“I was first involved with Frontier College in the 1990s as a tutor, helping a young woman learn to be a cashier by spending hours making change. In those days you couldn’t count on cash registers to do all the work for you, and I was thrilled when she was able to find work at a gift shop. Much has changed in the last 20 years, but the need for literacy and numeracy support has not. In today’s technology-driven world it’s even more important in fact, and many Canadians don’t possess the necessary skills to maintain employment, or to access social systems or healthcare. This was driven home for me by a powerful public service message that had a young man standing alone in front of a bus shelter by a sign he couldn’t read. It said the buses were cancelled for the day. He was stranded and he didn’t know it. This impacted me deeply, and I realized that literacy is taken for granted by so many. Because it’s not something you can see and most are adept at surviving without admitting or showing it, low literacy affects so many more people than we know. I returned to tutor at Frontier College eleven years ago and it’s still the best part of my busy week in the corporate world. I work with Beat the Street learners – marginalized youth in Toronto who have left the traditional school system. It has nothing to do with intelligence, it’s startling how many smart kids are dealt a difficult hand and don’t have the opportunities that most people in Canada have. I tried to give my children every chance to reach their full potential, and it’s heartbreaking to think that some kids have no one to look out for them. It’s nothing more than luck of the draw, a cosmic flip of the coin, and without support many kids have little hope and a bleak future ahead. I had the honour of being on the board of Frontier College and I know that personal donations truly make a difference. Through Frontier College’s partnerships and business model, every single dollar donated goes a very long way towards building the foundation for a healthy, happy, productive life.”
Arden King
“I have a great admiration for Frontier College. Their mission is doable, they have the right people to do it, and it works. Frontier College is my favourite literacy organization. I have always felt that my time and my donations are well spent there.”
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