Ignite is a not-for-profit, community-based employer that uses a leading edge, business entrepreneurial approach to solve social issues inherent in marginalized young adults. Through learning, healing, and meaningful work, Ignite assists at-risk young adults in developing the personal, social, academic, and work skills needed to move away from negative behaviours, unemployment, and financial dependency to become independent, self-supporting, and contributing members of society.
- The story of Ignite began more than two decades ago when the Canadian government issued a request for proposals to address the needs of at-risk young adults in the community.
- Multicultural Enterprises Inc. was established in response and began operations in 1990 using a unique, business-model approach. Program participants were hired by the organization as apprentices. Their job was to learn. Through personal healing, education, and an apprenticeship with a third-party employer, the apprentices developed the skills they needed to become productive members of the community.
- In 1995, Multicultural Enterprises Inc. changed its name to the Regina Adult Learning Centre Inc. The organization’s programming continued to evolve to meet the changing needs of its program participants.
- While both the federal and provincial governments continued to provide financial assistance to the organization, increasing uncertainties surrounding the extent of government funded support convinced the Regina Adult Learning Centre in 1997 to invite members of the private sector to join the public and community sectors as investment partners.
- The Regina Adult Learning Centre Foundation was incorporated in May 2000 with the purpose of generating long term private and public sector funding to support the Regina Adult Learning Centre.
- In January 2012, the Regina Adult Learning Centre rebranded as Ignite Adult Learning Corporation.
- The name change reflected the ambitious new direction the organization began taking to realize its vision and allowed the organization to broaden the scope of its programming for and support of young adults living at the margins of society. At the same time, it expanded opportunities for the organization to move toward attaining financial sustainability.
- As Ignite, the organization continues to build strength in marginalized young adults, to inspire their hopes and dreams, to empower them to live to their full potential as contributing members of society, and to be the catalyst that makes a real and lasting difference in the community.
Ignite is a catalyst for social change. Its mission is to empower marginalized young adults to transform themselves into self-sufficient, productive citizens who build successful lives for themselves and their families.
Ignite aspires to become a self-sustaining, holistic Centre of Excellence where the healing, learning, and employment needs of at-risk young adults are met, revenue generating endeavours are advanced, and highly desired human resources are produced.
The core values of Ignite are
We believe in the natural goodness of all human beings. People are best capable of
the highest performance when nurtured according to their unique, individual talents.
We believe work with dignity heals the mind and the body. We understand and
respect our challenges and remain committed even in the face of setbacks.
We believe actions that create and support self-sufficiency are beneficial to individuals
and to society.
We believe a sense of belonging to a supportive and nurturing community is a
necessary grounding for personal growth.
We initiate and nurture partnerships within private, public, and community sectors.
We take a professional, business approach to program planning, structure, delivery,
We believe innovative ideas and approaches are central to our effectiveness.
Diversity and Inclusiveness
We provide a multicultural training environment. We believe all cultural traditions and
genders benefit from learning and working together.
As a social entrepreneur, Ignite provides an environment of understanding and counselling but also provides a challenge for program participants and reinforces in them the value of work, belonging, and independence.
For program participants, Ignite provides
- consistency in its approach and expectations
- encouragement and support
- a learning environment that is accepting, positive, and safe
- a program that is goal-oriented, challenging, and discourages dependency
- meaningful work experiences
- opportunities for participants to take ownership of their learning and their responsibilities
Spanning more than twenty years, Ignite’s track record is incredibly strong, averaging a 75% graduation rate. Among graduates, 70% move directly into post-secondary education or the workforce. To date, the number of at-risk young adults who have successfully completed the program exceeds 500. The number of family members and friends who have been positively impacted in the process is beyond measure.
Ignite’s core program meets a societal need from a business perspective. Each year, 30 to 45 at-risk young adults, aged 18 to 30 years, are hired by Ignite as apprentices. Their job is to learn – seven and a half hours a day, five days a week. Poor performance and chronic absenteeism are causes for dismissal from the program.
Over 40 weeks, Ignite provides courses in
- academic upgrading
- computer skills
- business skills
- communication skills
- personal development
- driver education
- career orientation
A search for employment completes the program.
A consistently supportive environment is needed for at-risk young adults to change the direction of their lives and develop positive habits and social skills, strengthen academic and employment abilities, and build bright, independent futures. The Ignite Living Program provides opportunities for at-risk young adults to live and work in a strong and healthy community and focuses on a variety of areas, including
- personal fitness
- addiction education
- parenting skills
- positive socialization
- productive work
Members of the Ignite boards and council are leaders in the field of business. Their expertise helps guide our journey to further our mission and achieve our vision.
A current listing of Ignite board and council members may be found on the Who We Are page of our website.
I was born in Regina and raised in a total of 27 foster care homes between the ages of 2 and 14 years. Consequently, there were many negative effects on my life. learned to give up when times got tough. I learned to run away from all my problems... read more
If I had not been accepted into the ALC, there is a good chance I would be still on the other side of the law, in jail, or even dead by now. I say that because it pays to have an education in the world we live in. I would not have gotten anywhere if I had not been accepted into the ALC when I was... read more
“I decided that if I wanted to get somewhere in life, I would have to make a move.”
– Sonia T., Program Graduate
“I was able to create my own future and change my way of life.”
– Matt D., Program Graduate
“I truly feel like I am finally contributing back to the community rather than taking from it.”
– Jennifer W., Program Graduate
“Today, I am proud to be a taxpayer.”
– Norm P., Program Graduate
View images from our most recent Ignite events.