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University of Waterloo DIRECTIONS

Two high school Directions students

University of Waterloo DIRECTIONS is a post-secondary information and careers readiness conference for Aboriginal youth from First Nations and urban communities across Ontario.

Our theme is Education, Skills, Technology, Engineering, Environment, and Mathematics (ESTEEM).


Attention all Aboriginal students in Grades 10, 11, and 12: We have a program designed especially for you!

Our University of Waterloo DIRECTIONS program invites you to spend four days living in a St. Paul's residence at the University of Waterloo while attending a science-and-technology themed conference focused on the medicine wheel teachings of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. Get a first-hand glimpse of what post-secondary education consists of and has to offer you. During each conference, you will attend various hands-on workshops, sit in on special university-level lectures, and tour related faculties.

Come discover a wide range of post-secondary opportunities available to you in university, college, skilled trades and apprenticeship programs.

Our mission

The mission of this program is three-fold, including:

  • Increased motivation to complete high school;
  • Enhanced self-confidence of participants for post-secondary success through increased awareness and familiarity of post-secondary institutions; and lastly,
  • Consideration of a post-secondary program of study.

A group photo of students and staff from our Grade 12 program.

Student & Staff from our Grade 12 University of Waterloo DIRECTIONS program.

What we do

University of Waterloo DIRECTIONS brings together status, non-status, Métis, and Inuit high school students from across Ontario for four action-packed days.

During their time here, students will be immersed in a complete post-secondary experience which includes: living in residence; selecting and attending university lectures of interest; learning how to access on-campus resources; participation in hands-on workshops; plus much more.

Our program nurtures a love of learning and offers its participants a positive and supportive experience that not only helps to prepare them for what they might encounter in a post-secondary institution, it does so using an Aboriginal world view and the teachings of the medicine wheel.

After all, how can you choose which direction to take in life until you've glimpsed some of the many paths available?

A group photo of students participating in an activity.A group photo of Grade 11 students at the Earth Science Museum.

Left image: Hands-on participation is key. Right image: Grade 11 students in photo op.

Students jumping to pose for the camera.Two students being taught how to drum by a community member.

Left image: Grade 10 students on a scavenger hunt. Right image: Community member teaching drumming.

Why should you register?

Everyone here shares the belief that education is a powerful, versatile tool for finding one's purpose in the world. By participating in University of Waterloo DIRECTIONS, you will gain valuable post-secondary awareness and a better understanding of careers in the ESTEEM fields.

Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre logo.


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