‘STEPS’ to keep kids safe
Man wants to see kids get what they need to succeed
Jim Boyd is making it his mission to see kids have the “armour” to succeed.
And he says in today’s world, knowledge of crime, accident and fire prevention, emergency preparedness as well as mental health awareness are tools kids need to survive.
He created the not-forprofit Safety Training Empowerment Programs for Students (STEPS) to try to make sure students get the prevention education they require.
Boyd is working to have STEPS offered in schools by this fall as well as making an online version available. Under the program, police officers, firefighters and paramedics would provide instruction on health, security and about positive lifestyles.
“We cannot assume that our youth will get proper information, education or training in these critical areas of their lives,” said Boyd, who is recruiting volunteers to work for the program.
Boyd’s own children struggled in the target areas and he wants to see an easier path for others.
“And there is the fact that I drove an ambulance for 35 years. I’ve seen the needs,” he said.
In the mid-2000s, Boyd spearheaded the Crossroads Youth Programming in 22 Mississauga schools with teaching sessions that included youth and the law, cyber safety and drug education.
“STEPS was born from there. With all the violence in the GTA, people are looking for answers. I don’t have them but we can teach the consequences,” Boyd said.
A year ago while STEPS was being planned, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Raplh Goodale applauded Boyd for his plans and encouraged him to apply for apply for a federal grant to finance the program.
“I commend your initiative to ensure Canadian students receive quality mental health training as well as crime, fire and accident prevention training,” Goodale wrote.
“That money is better used in funding better policing and infrastructure programs for youth at risk.," Boyd said, adding his plans are to provide training at no cost to the tax rolls.
He is looking to get permission to link to websites such as the Ministry of Labour.
“We can use some existing information. (The Ministry of Labour) have a section for young workers. Kids can take quizzes, get certifications, build a resume and get a job,” Boyd said.
He wants to establish and offer 40-hour STEPS education training where students can earn certificates.
“Who is going to get hired? A kid who has been cutting grass or one who stepped up to the plate and knows about the real world,” he said.
Jim Boyd has created a program to help students get the prevention education they require.