WHAT IS THE EAST PRESTON EMPOWERMENT ACADEMY (EPEA)?
The East Preston Empowerment Academy (EPEA) is a ‘labour of love’ of the East Preston United Baptist Church, which we seek to empower and equip members of our community with the necessary skills, tools and confidence to fulfill their lifelong dreams. This program began in September 2014, and we are now into our third year of operation, with a vibrant student population, dedicated instructors and staff members, a committed Board of professionals and the support of the East Preston Church.
EPEA began as a traditional Adult Learning Programme, and was then expanded to include a preparation course for the Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) Exam. In 2016, we expanded to include a Trade Apprenticeship Program, the EPEA Pathways Initiative, in which we train tradespeople to qualify for Red Seal Certification with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Additionally, we have added a youth academic enrichment component.
We are partnered with and primarily funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Black Educators Association, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, and the East Preston United Baptist Church. We also receive various individual contributions of time and resources from private individuals. Because of our level of funding, our students are able to attend our program free of charge, removing a common access barrier.
EPEA’s focus is on #InvestingInMinds and #EmpoweringLives by providing basic skills, coupled with encouragement and confidence-building, and an extra dose of love and faith in our students. Our mission is to assist people in upgrading their skills and qualifications for future employment and entrepreneurial pursuits. We also actively encourage and equip our students to seek the highest level of education possible, regardless of their lack of past accomplishments or the barriers that kept them from achieving their goals.
Our course curriculum includes instruction in Communications – English and History, as well as Mathematics – Theory and Applied, along with several Professional Development Seminars in Computer Training, a Library Sciences Project, a History Project, Public Speaking, Professionalism, Career Choices, etc. Recently, after discovering the low voting rate in East Preston and neighbouring Black communities, we established an E-Voting program to assist residents with online voting.
We provide computers and train volunteers to walk through the process of voting with many who were then able to confidently cast their votes at their Church, utilizing the resources of our program. We also enrolled new students for our computer class from this experience! We worked with the Halifax Municipal Elections Office to register and assist people in voting for the first time in their lives, and who may otherwise not have done so.
Another highly effective event was a Legal Information Session we held in 2016, where we partnered with the Law Firm of Stewart McKelvey Law Firm. Lawyers from private law firms presented in our community on topics ranging from access to legal education. This is a regular addition to our program and we will be holding periodic legal workshops on different areas of the law.
OUR FLAGSHIP PROGRAMS AT EPEA:
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR STRUCTURE:
Download: EPEA Organizational Structure