We teamed up with photogapher Jamal Burger to donate 25 of our Path Backpacks to Pathways to Education .


"Growing up, it's difficult to understand that coming from a place that lacks in opportunity doesn't mean you lack in dreams", Jamal Burger explains. The now hugely successful photographer spent his childhood in Regent Park, a low-income neighborhood in the greater metropolitan area of Toronto, Canada. In ninth grade, Burger learned about Pathways to Education-an organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive set of academic, financial, social and one-on-one support to youth-and instantly enrolled. Burger seized his opportunity, recognized his potential and sought to achieve his ambitions. Now, Burger created his own program to support kids in areas with low opportunity areas, called The Kickback, and we couldn't be more thrilled to join him in donating educational resources to Pathways to Education.



The greatest barrier to education and success for a lot of kids in Toronto's downtown core is a lack of resources-a shortcoming that prevents kids from exploring, experimenting and discovering their passions. Burger points out that "you don't always hear that you can do anything". Emphasis is placed on avoiding the negative instead of focusing on empowerment and influencing adolescents to chase their full potential. When Burger enrolled, he received the support to pursue academia-a stipend for school supplies, lunch and commuting to and from school, as well as tutelage and mentorship. Pathways to Education opened the door to a different life for Burger, one where he knew he could pursue any career he desired.



The program.
Sometimes you just have to paint the picture for kids and show them they have limitless potential. It leaves the most profound impact. Why? Because you believe in them-someone believes in them. That's why Burger created The Kickback, a program focused on empowering kids with the resources and knowledge to help them achieve what they've been told is not only improbable, but impossible. We partnered with The Kickback on their “What's in your bag?” campaign to support Pathways to Education. We donated 25 of our Path Backpacks to carefully selected Pathways students who demonstrated their steadfast resolve toward achieving what they've been told they cannot. Enclosed in each bag is an array of school supplies with positive messages attached-like an eraser to signify that it's okay to make mistakes, and a ruler to signify that success is measured in all shapes and sizes. Each donation represents more than the supplies it's providing; it stands for a whole that is drastically greater than the sum of its parts- a pathway guiding students toward attaining their dreams.

Learn more about Pathways to Education.
Follow Jamal Burger on Instagram @jayscale

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Jennifer Suarez