Check out our PFC Walk & Talk with Joe campaign!


The Push for Change youth presentation is designed to educate students on what youth homelessness is and is not. How over 65,000 young Canadians fall into street life each year and what each student can do to avoid poor choices that lead to vulnerability and despair. Joe will share his story as a former homeless youth who came from an average home. Walk with Joe through the tough streets of East Vancouver in the 1980’s and experience the depths and degradation of a former hope- less, homeless drug addict. Joe’s success as a school presenter is due to his honest and authentic message that educators are looking for.

517 day trek beginning May 1, 2016 in St. John’s, ending September 30, 2017 in Vancouver.

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Joe teaches us to see the power we all have within us to make a change in the world we live in. From a promise made on the streets 25 years ago, Joe was inspired to do something to “pay it forward”, to help other young people avoid this fate. The Push for Change is that promised real- ized, proving that we can make change if we have the courage to take action. Students will be inspired to look within and see their own possibilities.

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The Push for Change offers strong opportunities for youth empower- ment. Before, during, and after Joe speaks, students and teachers will be invited to get involved in The Push for Change through social media, interactivity and a number of hands on fun(d)raising activities- some of which will be competing against other schools across Canada.

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Over 300,000 students have heard Joe’s message including:

Apex Alternative High School
Banting Memorial High School
Barrie North Collegiate
Beausoleil First Nations
Britannia Secondary School
Burnaby North Secondary School
Burnaby Youth Custody Services
Caledonia Secondary – Terrace BC
Carver Christian High School
Centre Hastings Secondary School Collingwood Collegiate
Ecole Earl Marriott Secondary
Elgin Park Secondary School
Fraser House – Mission Secondary Schools Fraser Valley Adventist
Hatzic Secondary
HD Stafford High School
John Oliver High School
Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary
Kelowna High School
King George Secondary School
Kwantlen Park/Tamanawis/Princess Margaret Kwayhquitlum MS
Lord Akins Junior High School
Maple Ridge Secondary School
Moricetown First Nations
Nicholson Catholic College
North Albion Collegiate Institute
North Hastings High School
Odyssey of the Mind
Pacific Academy
Pine Tree Secondary School
Point Grey Secondary School
Port Moody Secondary
Princess Margaret Secondary School
Queen Elizabeth Secondary
Regent Christian Academy
Sardis Secondary School
Seycove Secondary
Skeena Secondary – Terrace BC
Stayner Collegiate
St John’s Academy
St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School
St. Paul’s High School
St. Teresa’s Catholic High School
Stó:lō Nation – Chilliwack BC
Surrey School District
Thornhill Junior Secondary
Trenton High School
Tupper High School
UBC Sauder – Youth Entrepreneur Conference Youth Diversion Maple Ridge
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Be one of the few schools across Canada who will be proud to say they hosted The Push for Change.

“The credibility of your message as a presenter was heightened by the fact that you had actually walked the path of which you spoke. It was great to see such a large student body provide their undivided attention to your message of hope and empowerment ” – Dana Barakauskas, Principal

“We may never know the real impact that this presentation had on our students, nor can we make their decision for them. However if we can show them the ugly side of poor decisions, lay before them choices and related consequences, continually reinforcing the positive choices, then perhaps we will be able to keep many from following the same path that Joe followed.” – Bill Gerber Fraser Valley Adventist Academy

“I believe that the presentation had a big impact on our school because of the responses we received after he left. I hope he continues to speak to other schools and youth and get this message across” – Student

“He speaks their language and having been right where some of them are at this moment.” – Mother

“I commend you for your commitment to helping youth, and for carrying your message across the country. Your mission is inspiring; your approach is engaging; and, your determination is motivating.” – Christy Clark, BC Premier

“Joe Roberts’ inspiring story is one of determination, courage and overcoming adversity that reminds us of the power of believing that anything is possible. It is testament to the strength of the human spirit and what you can achieve when you set your mind to it.”
Rick Hansen, Canada’s Man in Motion

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The Upstream Project is particularly interested in adapting the evidence-based successes of The Geelong Project (TGP), a ground breaking partnership that helps young peo-ple at risk of homelessness.

TGP utilizes a ‘community of schools and youth services’ model of early intervention for young people who are at risk of disengaging from school, becoming homeless and entering the justice system. With TPG, all young people, in any given school, are assessed using an evidence-based assessment tool.

Those who are identified as being at higher risk of homelessness are offered comprehensive interventions based on a determination of both needs and assets. Young people and their families are provided with necessary supports aimed at solidifying family relations (if it is safe for the youth to do so), increasing school engagement and success, and reducing the risk of family breakdown, dropping out of school and involvement in crime.

The unique TGP model of youth homelessness intervention has been extensively evaluated over the past five years and has a strong evidence base. The Push for Change will fund, in part, the implementation of The Upstream Project in Canada.

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6:00am - 1:00pm Joe walks 24km pushing the cart
2:00pm -7:00pm School and Community engagements
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For your engagement date

and event toolkit,

Contact Campaign Director:

Marie Roberts, 778-875-5202

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