School Ambassador Program

A school “speak out” program for grades 7 and 8

Ambassadors are high school students in a school re-entry program for high-risk youth provided in partnership with several community agencies, including Toronto Public Health.

These students relate their life experiences with substance use, violence, abuse, family difficulties, etc., to youth in a peer setting. Their message encourages youth who are having difficulties to seek help rather than turning to drugs or dropping out of school.

Toronto Public Health staff can arrange for “Ambassadors” to speak to Grade 7 and 8 classes or interested schools can contact the Coordinator directly at 416-465-7795

Youth Leadership Initiatives

The Healthy Schools and Substance Misuse Prevention Youth Leadership Initiatives aim to build resiliency among youth leaders ages 12-18 (Gr. 7 to 12). This is accomplished by supporting them through a process to learn about the prevention of substance misuse, mental health and well-being, build leadership skills and assist them in taking action on an area of focus.

Public Health staff will work together with school staff to implement the program with students/youth. They will facilitate and support youth through the following process:

Step 1 – Recruit a group of youth in secondary school (ages 13-18) who are interested in being peer leaders

Step 2 – Establish the team of peer leaders to accomplish Steps 3 to 7

Step 3 – Identify issues that are relevant to their school/community (mental health and well-being and/or substance misuse prevention i.e. alcohol and other drugs)

Step 4 – Prioritize and decide on a key topic or issues to address

Step 5 – Develop an action plan to influence others in their school or community

Step 6 – Implement the plan

Step 7 – Evaluate and celebrate successes

For more information and resources about Youth Leadership Initiatives, or if you are interested in the program, contact your liaison Public Health Nurse or Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 or email