In 1984, a small group of U of T students got together to promote post-secondary education in the Luso-Canadian community. At the time, numerous reports on the appalling state of education in Canada’s Portuguese community were being published. The reports singled out the extremely high drop-out rate amongst young Portuguese students, many of whom were barely making it through high school, let alone even considering a pursuit of higher education.
Through the “Outreach” Program, the U of T students began to rigorously promote post-secondary education to all young people in the community. Serving as an example of the amazing potential for success, the students enthusiastically spread their message to the community’s young people and their parents: Knowledge is Power! Through University Information Nights, the Origens magazine, and various other programs, hundreds of young people now had successful role models to look to for examples of Portuguese young people who had made it! From this joint effort, the UTPA was born. 20 years later, the Association is about a lot more than promotion of education:
~ Today, the UTPA is stronger than ever, providing a place for students of Portuguese-descent at U of T to come together and enjoy the university experience to its fullest.
~ Membership in the UTPA provides young people a place to make life-long friends, relax, unwind, and grow; all while enjoying and preserving their culture.
~ And, Outreach still remains the cornerstone of the Association, and is complimented by the UTPA Scholarship Program, a financial award to university-bound Portuguese students.
~ Together, the UTPA works at ensuring that the future of the Portuguese community in Canada is a bright one!