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High Schools for Haiti: Students encouraged to empathize with Haitian youth, says leading youth expert

Dr. Karyn Gordon participates in a speaking tour that teaches students about the importance of empathy

TORONTO, May 20 /CNW/ – One of Canada’s leading youth and family experts, Dr. Karyn Gordon, is participating in a speaking tour next week sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods. Beginning on May 26, Dr. Gordon will be visiting schools in the GTA, hosting an interactive workshop for students in grades 7 to 12 that will focus on empathy and how to build healthy friendships.

As an action item to encourage students to get involved, Dr. Gordon and Maple Leaf Foods have partnered with World Vision Canada on a project entitled High Schools for Haiti (HSH). This initiative encourages Canadian teens to raise money to help Haitian youth affected by the earthquake.

“My hope with this speaking tour is to try and get students to understand the challenges Haitian youth are facing. This will encourage them to develop a strong sense of empathy,” says Dr. Gordon. “Initiatives such as High Schools for Haiti can provide students with a valuable learning experience that translates into a tangible action to do something meaningful. “HSH will support the educational needs of youth in the Central Plateau region of Haiti. More specifically, funds will be used to help construct a new school and provide infrastructure improvements for existing schools in the region. As well, literacy and vocational skills classes will be offered to students and preschool teachers will receive training on child development principals.

In addition to the student workshop, Dr. Gordon will host a 75-minute workshop for parents and community residents about 10 simple things they can do to foster empathy and gratitude with their children. Dr. Gordon will also address some of the common mistakes parents make that hinder the development of these important values.


    Wednesday, May 26:

    Allan A. Greenleaf School - 211 Parkside Dr. Waterdown, ON
    Student event - 2:15 p.m.
    Parent event - 7 p.m.

    Thursday, May 27:
    John Knox Christian School -795 Hwy No. 8. Stoney Creek, ON
    Student event - 1:45 p.m.
    Parent event - 7 p.m.

    Tuesday, June 1: Leaside High School - 200 Hanna Rd. Toronto, ON
    Parent event -7 p.m.

If you are interested in learning more about the Maple Leaf Food’s speaking tour or to get more information about High Schools for Haiti, please visit

Dr. Karyn is one of North America’s leading authorities on understanding youth and Generation Y (ages 10-29). She is a corporate/family consultant, motivational speaker, media personality (expert on the national TV show, The Mom Show) and author of several books including her latest, “Dr. Karyn‘s Guide to the Teen Years” (published by Harper Collins). She is frequently interviewed by the news media to provide insight into the pressures facing Canadian youth. She has spoken to more than 250,000 people including teens, parents, teachers, managers and presidents on a variety of issues including self-esteem, motivation, leadership and communication. For more information, please visit

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 23,500 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2009. For more information, please visit

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. To learn more about World Vision, please visit

For more information on the speaking tour or to set up an interview with Dr. Karyn Gordon, please contact: Karen Flores, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3497 (office), (416) 277-5563 (mobile),