Carleton University’s mentoring program for aboriginal high school students was among 30 initiatives to win a grant at Ashoka Canada’s Changemakers awards Tuesday.

Carleton’s Aboriginal High School Mentorship program received a $1,000 grant for its work at Odawa Urban Aboriginal Alternative High School and Rideau High School.

Patricia Reynolds, program co-coordinator, said the program was in response to aboriginal students struggling in high school and not accessing post-secondary education.

The university employs six mentors who are spread across the two schools who offer tutoring and life skills coaching to aboriginal students.

“Every single positive aboriginal role model, socially and academically, that comes into their life gives them an increased chance of educational success,” said Reynolds, just before receiving the grant.

Grants valued at $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000 were handed out to 29 other initiatives across Canada that support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education and learning. Ashoka, a philanthropic organization of social entrepreneurs, honoured the winners in Gatineau.

Other local winning initiatives include Actua in the North and Just Move It.

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