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Empowering Oakville’s Youth: OMEF’s Learning Buddies Program

OMEF's Better Care Story
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OMEF's Better Care Story

Unveiling the Heart of OMEF's Learning Buddies Program

In the heart of Oakville, a remarkable initiative is quietly reshaping both the future of healthcare and the lives of our youngest community members.

We’re talking about the Oak Medical Education Foundation (OMEF), a shining example of volunteerism and innovation in our community.

Led by individuals like Shawn Fang and Carol Chen, OMEF demonstrates the power of grassroots efforts in nurturing the growth of young individuals and supporting crucial healthcare endeavors in our community.

At the core of OMEF’s initiatives lies Learning Buddies Program, a transformative tutoring program that helps children succeed inside and outside the classroom. Over the past two years, this initiative has raised an impressive $10,000 in support of the Oakville Hospital Foundation and has become a cornerstone of youth empowerment and development in Oakville.

Testimonials from our community members

Carol Chen, the Chief Operating Officer of OMEF, shares the passion behind the program: “We aim to empower youth in our community, tapping into their academic strengths to encourage their contribution to society.”

The program’s core idea is simple yet profound: high school students or younger, with their unique skills and experiences, serve as mentors to younger children. This is a great opportunity for these students to build their leadership skills, fulfill their volunteer hours, and support all families, including new immigrant families.

This mentorship not only benefits the younger children academically but the program extends beyond that to offer tutoring in various extracurricular activities such as skating, piano, tennis, dance, and more.

It’s also has helped bridge cultural and language gaps, making immigrant families integration into the community smoother.

Funds raised through Learning Buddies are directly donated to the Oakville Hospital Foundation.

Zhaoxin Dong, the lead of the program, emphasizes the holistic benefits: “It’s not just about academic tutoring; it’s about developing leadership, communication, and teamwork skills for both mentors and mentees.”

The impact of Learning Buddies is making waves, with over a hundred volunteers and scores of eager parents actively engaged. Through recognition from the MPs Office and the Hospital Foundation, volunteers are celebrated for their dedication and commitment. One of the youngest volunteers, currently in Grade 5, exemplifies the program’s inclusive and empowering spirit.

But beyond the numbers lies a deeper narrative—one of unity, compassion, and collective action. Learning Buddies offers an avenue for meaningful fundraising and academic support. It is also about nurturing a generation of compassionate leaders who understand the value of community and the importance of healthcare advocacy.

As Carol Chen puts it, “This is our local hospital, and we want to encourage our community to understand the healthcare system and support the hospital foundation. Together, we can make a meaningful difference.”

Learn about the program here: www.omef.org/learning-partner-program

More About OMEF: OMEF actively supports Oakville Hospital Foundation through various fundraising events like their annual 5KM Charity Run/Walk and Learning Buddies Program. Shawn Fang and Carol Chen, key members of OMEF, dedicate their time to both OMEF and Oakville Hospital Foundation, serving on the community engagement committee.