Ready to Upskill For Your Future?

Applications are now open to AHF’s Virtual Career Accelerator, a fully-funded 16-week program for self-identifying Black, Indigenous and women of colour based in Ontario. Designed by career development experts and backed by an integrated learning model, AHF’s Virtual Career Accelerator is where you’ll develop vital skills to accelerate your future.

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A Holistic 16-week Experience

As a successful participant, you will engage in career readiness bootcamps, enroll in one of three technical upskilling tracks, explore mental health and well-being strategies, while having access to small-group mentorship and career coaching.

The holistic 16-week journey is rounded out with a paid experiential opportunity with a small or medium-sized organization to cultivate your newly acquired skills through a real-world project. 

Whether you are working, recently graduated or a student, you will gain foundational technical skills, along with crucial tools to help you develop and adapt as the workplace evolves. 

Program Benefits

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Integrative Part-Time Model

Upskill for the future while honouring your existing commitments. Through this part-time virtual program you will attend one of three technical upskilling tracks on weekday evenings, attend Career Readiness Bootcamps on two weekends, and participate in group mentorship circles, and a paid short-term project

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Build Your Resume & LinkedIn Profile

Receive a certificate once you’ve completed this program to add to your newly polished resume and LinkedIn profile, in addition to the skills and hands-on experience you’ve gained throughout the program.

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Upskill in a Technical Track

Participate in one of three technical upskilling tracks of your choice to future-proof your skills. You will join a part-time course delivered by one of AHF’s training partners in Web Development, Data Analytics or UX & Digital Marketing. Gain a foundational understanding to grow, develop and adapt at the same pace as the digital workplace transformation around you.

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Community & Networking

Join a cohort of participants embarking on the same upskilling journey as you, engage in meaningful discussions with mentors and coaches with industry experience, and gain access to AHF’s network of supportive alumni and community members.

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Paid Short-Term Project

Gain valuable skills and experience – and get paid a $500 stipend – by working in groups on a short-term work project for a small or medium-sized organization. 

 

What You Will Experience

Are you ready to upskill for your future? This holistic program is designed for you to take your skills to new heights so you can stand out in any candidate pool or your workplace. 

Schedule

Career Readiness Bootcamps

Two weekend Career Readiness Bootcamps that are experiential and interactive. Hear from speakers and dynamic facilitators covering how to make your resume stand out, interviewing like a pro, telling your story with impact, building relationships with others, and more.  

 

Small Group Mentorship Circles & Career Coaching

Small groups of participants will be matched with 1-2 mentors with industry experience. Meet in your mentorship circles several times over the course of the program to discuss career paths, career development, how to approach opportunities, and have a safe space to share. You’ll also have access to group career coaching sessions.

Tech Upskilling Fundamentals

Participate in one of three technical upskilling tracks: Intro to Front-end with JavaScript, Data Analytics Fundamentals, or UX & Digital Marketing Fundamentals. Ideal for beginners who want to learn the foundations, each track will run for two, 3-hour-evening sessions per week over a 6-8 week period with an estimated 3-6 hours of outside classwork. 

Health & Wellness Educational Resources

Facilitated sessions and resources that seek to cultivate a space to explore mental health and wellness topics and practices, tailored to the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and women of colour.

Paid Flexible Remote Projects

Gain valuable experience by working in small groups on a short-term project with a small or medium-sized organization. This experiential learning opportunity is 20-hours per individual over 4 – 5 weeks with a paid stipend.

*Participants are responsible for declaring their Virtual Career Accelerator stipend as taxable income.

AHF Events & Community Access

Complimentary ticket to AHF’s Virtual Summit 2022 and invitation to other invitation-only networking events for the duration of the program. You’ll also receive access to our private Slack community where you can network and make connections.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Virtual Career Accelerator you must meet all criteria below

  • Self-identify as a Black woman, Indigenous woman (i.e. First Nations, Inuit, Métis), or woman of colour (i.e. Arab, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Latin American, South Asian, South East Asian, West Asian, East Asian, etc.) 
  • Reside in Ontario
  • 18+ years of age, in early-career, mid-career, or a student or recent graduate from a designated post-secondary institution
  • Employed part-time, full-time, self-employed, or a job-seeker
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person to whom refugee protection  has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Are legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant Ontario legislation and regulations (Note: International student graduates from designated post-secondary institution with a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit program are eligible. Those with a 900 series SIN are not eligible. Proof of status is required.)
  • Self-identify as a Black woman, Indigenous woman (i.e. First Nations, Inuit, Métis), or woman of colour (i.e. Arab, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Latin American, South Asian, South East Asian, West Asian, East Asian, etc.) 
  • Reside in Ontario
  • 18+ years of age, in early-career, mid-career, or a student or recent graduate from a designated post-secondary institution
  • Employed part-time, full-time, self-employed, or a job-seeker
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Are legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant Ontario legislation and regulations (Note: International student graduates from designated post-secondary institution with a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit program are eligible. Those with a 900 series SIN are not eligible. Proof of status is required.)

Ready to Upskill for Your Future?

#RealTalk, as Black, Indigenous and racialized women ourselves, we've had imposter thoughts about applying to programs. Did you know, imposter thoughts are a systemic problem and not a personal one? We want to see more of us thrive and our programs are designed for YOU. We encourage you to give yourself permission to go for this wonderful opportunity, today! 

Important Dates

Applications Open
June 1, 2022

Applications Close
June 30, 2022

Selection Process
June 30 – August 19, 2022

Successful Applicants to be Informed by
August 19, 2022

Virtual Career Accelerator Program
August 29 – December 16, 2022

Access to Group Career Coaching Support & AHF Events
November 2022 – March 2023

How it Works

How it Works Map

Technical Upskilling Tracks

In your application, you are asked to select a top and secondary choice from one of three technical upskilling tracks available. These live-virtual sessions are held two evenings a week for 3 hours per session. The sessions are interactive by design and embrace a learn-by-doing approach to skills training. 

Data Analytics Fundamentals

This is an 8-week upskilling track delivered by Juno College of Technology, teaching the fundamentals of data analytics for beginners. Through hands-on training, you’ll gain a foundational understanding of data analysis, in-demand tools and languages, and the confidence to apply them at work. You’ll learn to organize and analyze data with Google sheets, make charts and visualizations with spreadsheets, write database queries with SQL, create dashboards with Tableau, and tell compelling stories using data. You’ll leave the course having designed, developed, and published a portfolio-worthy data analysis dashboard.

Intro to Front-End with JavaScript

This is a 6-week upskilling track delivered by Lighthouse Labs teaching the fundamentals of front-end web development with JavaScript. Learn how to build and style websites and landing pages using HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Build your own website from scratch, learn the core principles of responsive design, and leverage JavaScript to make your site dynamic and interactive. 

UX & Digital Marketing Fundamentals

This is an 8-week upskilling track delivered by Our Wave Hub teaching the fundamentals of UX and digital marketing. Learn hands-on training in app development, the design thinking process and how user personas guide building digital products. Go from idea to a working prototype and learn the foundations in user experience design, creating a brand persona and product design. You will also learn design tools that are in-demand for entry level marketing and product design roles i.e. Notion, Figma, Miro and Glide. 

Looking to Mentor in the Virtual Career Accelerator?

Learn more about the Mentor eligibility requirements and to apply.
Applications to become a Mentor close August 5, 2022.

Our Service Delivery Partners

This Program is Supported By

AHF’s Virtual Career Accelerator Program is funded in part by
the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions that are not included below? Send us an email at info@accelerateherfuture.com

What is the participant eligibility criteria?

Please refer to the Eligibility Criteria found on the Virtual Career Accelerator page.

Please note International students who have graduated from a designated postsecondary institution and granted a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program are eligible (those with a 900 series SIN are not eligible per the Skills Development Fund eligibility guidelines). Proof of status is required.

What is the participant eligibility criteria?

Please refer to the Eligibility Criteria found on the Virtual Career Accelerator page.

Please note International students who have graduated from a designated postsecondary institution and granted a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program are eligible (those with a 900 series SIN are not eligible per the Skills Development Fund eligibility guidelines). Proof of status is required.

What if I’m having self-doubts about whether I’m qualified to apply?

#RealTalk, as Black, Indigenous and women of colour ourselves, we’ve been there and experienced imposter thoughts. Did you know, imposter thoughts are a systemic problem and not a personal one? We want to see more of us thrive in the workplace. Our programs are designed for YOU.

There are benefits to applying to the program, regardless of the outcome. If your application is not successful, it does not speak to your experiences and qualifications. We are limited to the number of participants we can intake. Depending on the number of spots, we may extend an invitation for you to attend the Career Readiness bootcamp components of the program. Also, with your permission, we will place you on our list of invitations to our upcoming events. 

We encourage you to give yourself permission to go for this wonderful opportunity, today!

What are some tips for completing the application?
  • You will need to complete and submit your application in one sitting so that you don’t lose your responses. Prepare your answers in a separate document to take advantage of spelling, grammar and word count tools, then copy/paste your answers into the corresponding box on the application form.
  • Take time to understand AHF’s mission and the goals of the Virtual Career Accelerator.
  • Take your time, answer the questions being asked, be authentic with your responses giving specific examples, and review before submitting.
What does the selection committee look for when reviewing my application?

Each submission will be anonymized (names and schools/companies removed) and reviewed independently by two selection committee members. Criteria will include: meeting eligibility criteria, availability to attend all programming requirements and complete supplementary activities, clear expression of what you hope to get out of the program, and clear articulation of goals aligned with the Virtual Career Accelerator goals. 

Is there a participation fee for AHF’s Virtual Career Accelerator?

There is no fee to apply. There is no registration fee for those selected to participate in the 2022 Virtual Career Accelerator.

What is the time commitment for AHF’s Virtual Career Accelerator?

This is a 16-week cohort-based program. It includes two weekend career readiness bootcamps (one in September and the second in December). Participants will complete a technical upskilling fundamentals training in one of three tracks. Over a 6-8 week period (each track differs in length), participants will attend two (2) evening, three (3) hour sessions plus complete homework. Expect 6-10 hours of weekly work for the technical upskilling component of the program. Upon completion of the technical upskilling track, participants will complete a project-based experience. Each participant will contribute 20 hours over 4-5 weeks working on a project for a small or medium-sized organization. Participants will also participate in Group Mentorship Circles. Participants are required to complete program surveys including an exit survey. The program is designed to allow you to manage multiple priorities such as school or work while investing in your future self.

What type of group mentoring and career coaching will I receive in this program?

Accelerate Her Future will place participants in each technical upskilling track into small peer groups and matched to 1-2 mentors to form a group mentorship circle.  Mentors have experience in Data Analytics, Intro to Front-End with JavaScript or UX Design & Digital marketing. The Group Mentorship Circles will participate in an orientation session covering Accelerate Her Future’s strength-based, reciprocal mentorship model and will subsequently meet 4 times over the duration of the program in a structured format. Participants will also have access to career coaches who will provide feedback on marketing tools such as resumes and small group career coaching sessions until March 30, 2023. A program schedule including group mentorship and group career coaching sessions will be made available at the start of the program. 

What are the computer requirements for the program?

This is a virtual program which means that you will need access to a laptop or computer. To participate you must have a computer with working speakers, a microphone, a modern operating system (MacOS 10 or higher, Windows 7 or higher, or equivalent), a webcam (it doesn’t have to be the greatest quality) and a strong and consistent internet connection (at least 10Mbps download and 5Mbps upload — you can check your speeds for free here). This is to ensure software and tools needed for your technical upskilling component run smoothly. To make the most of your live online learning experience, we also recommend noise canceling headphones, a comfortable desk and chair, and a positive attitude!

What are the three technical upskilling tracks and how do each work?

In your application, you are asked to select a top and secondary choice from one of three technical upskilling tracks available. Successful applicants will be notified of the tracks into which they have been accepted. 

  • The Data Analytics Fundamentals track is an 8-week upskilling part-time course delivered by Juno College of Technology
  • The Intro to Front-End with JavaScript track is a 6-week upskilling part-time course delivered by Lighthouse Labs
  • The UX & Digital Marketing Fundamentals track is an 8-week upskilling part-time course delivered by Our Wave Hub

When participants move into the technical upskilling component of the program, they will attend live online sessions held two evenings a week for 3 hours per session for the 6 or 8 week duration of this component. You are required to provide a written notification by email in advance if you anticipate being late or unable to attend a session. Where more than 25% of the part-time course is missed, a certificate or letter of completion will not be issued to a participant. Where a participant has missed a session, it is their responsibility to review session recordings and complete all activities of the missed session. While these 6-8 weeks of upskilling will give you a great introduction to the technical track you are in, for those wanting to pursue a career in Web Development, UX Design & Digital Marketing, or Data Analytics you will need to pursue additional courses or training. 

Do I need any prerequisite knowledge to join these technical upskilling tracks?

The technical upskilling tracks are entry-level part-time courses – so there is no prerequisite knowledge required. For those in the Data Analytics Fundamentals track, if you have existing coding or spreadsheet knowledge, it may be easier for you to grasp some key data analytics concepts, but Juno College of Technology’s Data Analytics course is an entry-level course and absolute beginners are welcome!  

How does the project-based work experience component of AHF’s Virtual Career Accelerator work?

After you’ve completed your technical upskilling track, you will be placed in groups to collaborate on an organization-led, project-based work experience. Accelerate Her Future and Riipen have teamed up with selected organizations to carefully craft projects for you to show your learning and gain real work experience. 

In teams of 3-4 participants, you’ll be assigned to a team and required to complete 20-hours of work individually over a 4-5 week period. Prior to starting your project, you will be on-boarded onto Riipen’s platform and participate in a kick-off session where you will learn more about your project, key milestones and deliverables. The organization will outline what they need you to produce and from there you should feel comfortable working on the project. You will complete your work in teams virtually and outside of the Riipen platform. Once you have completed your work and uploaded the deliverables onto Riipen, you and the organization will be prompted to provide public feedback on each other that can be used in the future as a reference. 

How many projects can I complete?

Virtual Career Accelerator participants will work in small teams on one project for a small or medium-sized organization based in Ontario between November – December 16, 2022. Projects must be submitted by December 16, 2022 in order to receive a $500 stipend.

Are Virtual Career Accelerator participants employees of the organization for which they complete a project?

No. Virtual Career Accelerator participants are neither employees of the organization they do a project for, nor of Accelerate Her Future (who will pay their stipend). As such, participants do not qualify for any employment benefits at either organizations. Upon completion of a Virtual Career Accelerator project, AHF will require participants to submit personal identification information so that we can issue tax forms as needed.

How will I be paid for the project? How long does it take?

Virtual Career Accelerator participants will be paid a $500 stipend for the project. The stipend will be paid directly by AHF upon completion of the project milestones, submission of the final deliverable, feedback provided by the organization and other Virtual Career Accelerator program surveys. Further information about the stipend payment process will be shared at a later time with successful candidates.

What if I decide to quit a project halfway, will I be paid for half the work?

Unfortunately not. Virtual Career Accelerator participants will be paid once the project is submitted and exit survey is completed, in the form of a stipend. For that reason, participants who do not fully complete the project will not be paid.

Would the project stipend affect a participant’s Employment Insurance benefits or Canada Recovery Benefit?

If you are claiming Employment Insurance (EI) and expect to start/continue claiming EI during any part of the Virtual Career Accelerator, it is your responsibility to disclose that you are receiving EI benefits in the Virtual Career Accelerator application form. As an approved program, Accelerate Her Future will work with successful applicants who have indicated EI as a source of income to complete any required approval request forms to send to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development for reporting to the Employment Insurance system.

The project-based component of the Virtual Career Accelerator is not deemed as employment. After successful completion of the program and payment (no tax withholdings or deductions), participants will also receive a T4A slip to report on their annual tax filings. Participation in this program should not affect your eligibility to claim employment insurance benefits, if you are already doing that. That said, it is your responsibility to track income earned in this calendar year to determine if your cumulative income level will result in any requirements to repay amounts received from any of these benefit programs.

Will I receive a certificate upon successful completion of the Virtual Career Accelerator?

Participants who successfully meet the completion requirements of the Virtual Career Accelerator will receive a certificate of completion. Participants who successfully complete the requirements of their upskilling training component of the program in one of three tracks, will also receive a certificate or letter of completion from the relevant training provider for that track.

Participants are responsible for providing written notification by email in advance if they anticipate being late or unable to attend a Virtual Career Accelerator session. Where more than 25% of the program is missed and/or the project-based deliverables are not completed, a certificate of completion will not be provided to a participant by Accelerate Her Future. Where a participant has missed a session, it is their responsibility to review the recordings and complete the activities missed. Note: where more than 25% of the technical upskilling track part-time course sessions are missed, a certificate or letter of completion will not be issued by the training provider to a participant. 

I’m interested in becoming a mentor in the Virtual Career Accelerator. How do I apply?

Awesome! Refer to the Become a Mentor section above and check out the Mentor application form to apply.