Why Phelps Works

Top reasons behind Phelps Helps’ success:

  • We provide a continuum of support: Our services respond to the specific needs of individuals from age 8-30 without duplicating other community services provided. Instead, we identify and unify programs to ensure residents can avail themselves of the scope of assistance that is offered. By providing steady support and attachment to our participants at an early age, we remain a familiar and trusted mainstay for children through adolescence and into adulthood. Multiple entry points to our programs provide a level of flexibility that few other organizations are able to provide.
  • We leverage the power of early intervention: In 2017, it was revealed that the number of children from the Stanstead area who were vulnerable in more than 2 areas of development before the age of 5 was higher than both the regional and provincial averages. Confidence, curiosity and good learning habits must be fostered early, before entry into school. Our year-round community outreach activities equip the whole family to nurture early literacy and school readiness. Additionally, local employers have identified that many of the challenges local youth and adults face with regards to employability are not easily acquired at an older age; namely bilingualism and soft skills. Our elementary level programs integrate these skills as early age 8, helping to prevent the struggles they could face in their future employment.
  • We focus on educational transitions: The move from elementary to high school is a critical one and often alienating. It’s a vulnerable period when kids can fall through the cracks or veer down the wrong path. We collaborate with schools and parents to prepare students, in advance, to navigate this milestone transition with autonomy and self-assurance.
  • We focus on individuals: In every program, we look at what each participant is facing. Our more-than 50 volunteers, including university students in psychology and education, CEGEP students in special care counselling and former teachers, enable highly individualized support. Many of our students face major personal or family issues that add to their pressures. We provide a safe space for them to be listened to or to simply share a healthy snack among people who care.
  • We collaborate: We work with and are endorsed by elementary schools, high schools and school boards and continuously confer with parents and teachers. We’ve coordinated with schools to establish a bus stop directly at our front door. We’ve surveyed teachers, families and students to hear what they have to say and what they need from us to help them succeed. Partnerships with other community organizations are also critical; allowing for us to offer referrals when needed.
  • We study and meet with the best in the field: Other organizations in Quebec and Canada are leading efforts to achieve educational success among vulnerable and marginalized groups. We meet with our most successful peers and adapt our programs to provide what works best for the people of the Stanstead area. 
  • We know how to appeal to today’s youth and young adults: Through organized and fun activities — such as bowling or softball events — we are able to attract more students in need of our support. Phelps Helps’ social media presence has provided an additional link with local teens that reaches and connects in ways that schools and government cannot.

"I'm going to stay in Phelps for all my high school years!" – Link, 13 

“When my eldest son Link started high school, he was placed in the modified program – the lowest level academic stream. Expectations for kids in the program are low and most never graduate. With support from Phelps Helps, Link worked his way into the next level up the following year. He didn’t stop there. With dozens more sessions at Phelps Helps, he worked his way up again. Now, in grade 9, he’s in the regular-level classes in all subjects. He’s so proud and so are we!”


— Sophia Roy, Phelps Helps participant and mother of two Phelps Helps participants