Code Youth

About Code Youth

Creating opportunities for at-risk youth

Code Youth Canada was founded and incorporated as a not-profit organization July 6, 2017 by Mona Forrest. As a long-time foster mother, Mona frequently witnesses the distress and financial instability of today’s youth. Her experience moved her to create Code Youth.

Code Youth engaged with the community, summer project members, volunteers, youth-serving organizations and technology companies to develop a strong social media presence, form relationships to support Ottawa’s youth, and conduct multiple studies to better understand the challenges that today’s youth face. Every member of Code Youth’s team is passionate about supporting youth in overcoming barriers to employment. 

The Opportunity

According to a 2019 Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) report, under a moderate growth scenario the demand for digitally-skilled talent in Canada will be more than 305,000 by 2023. The most in-demand digital roles include software developers. 

Code Youth aims to prepare youth to fill these positions. 

In Ontario 2023

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Average Cost to Live in Ontario as a single person
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Average Income of an Early High School Leaver
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Average Income of a Junior Developer
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Number of Open IT Jobs

Who We Help

Code Youth serves young adults ages 17 to 29 who are early leavers of high school or are facing barriers to education or employment.

The Need

An environmental scan of resources for youth in 2017 revealed that Canadian online courses are not easily available, free or adapted to high school leavers. In fact, coding programs can be both lengthy and expensive.

As a result, young adults today do not have access to the training or resources needed to climb out of low-paying, part-time jobs in the food service and retail industries.

Fast Food $15.50/hr
Retail $15.50/hr
Junior Programmer $32.11/hr

Code youth's Mission and values

our Values


Code Youth strives to maintain an inclusive working and learning environment. We value diversity and believe in treating everyone with respect. We welcome people of all backgrounds and strive to provide all program participants with an opportunity to succeed.


Code Youth upholds a high standard of integrity. As such, we strive for transparency and honesty in all our operations.

Good Stewardship

Code Youth believes in treating both natural and human resources with care and respect. Our stewardship extends beyond our day-to-day operations; from the gifts in-kind to the donations we receive.

Creating and Driving Change

Code Youth teaches code, not only as a valuable skill, but as a channel to cultivate creativity and individual interests. We hope to inspire our participants with the confidence needed to drive change, both in their professional and personal lives.

Best Practices in Teaching and Learning 

Code Youth is committed to developing an innovative learning system that accommodates the needs of every learner. To design our program, we have gathered input from educators, industry professionals, and participants alike. We carefully consider all suggestions to better support our participants.

About our annual reports from previous years
Annual Report
About Our Board of Directors
Board of Directors
About Our Team
Our Staff
Our Volunteers
Our Mentors