The Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment believes that an empowered young woman can improve her life and have a positive impact on the world around her.

     Founded in June 2014 in the Mimico region of Etobicoke ON, the creation of the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment stems from a collaboration between the Hon. Jean Augustine & Philanthropist John Zanini. Both Jean & John envisioned a centre where all girls & young women would have access to empowerment programs. Their combined vision has become a reality as the Jean Augustine Centre takes a holistic approach to empowerment by providing programs that support the mental, physical & social wellbeing of girls & young women.


     The Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment is committed to building the self-esteem & self-worth of young women & girls by positively influencing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, & helping them to empower themselves.


     To enrich the lives of girls aged 7 to 17 years old through mentorship, empowerment programs & civic engagement with opportunities that place special emphasis on personal development & experiential learning.



EMPOWERMENT is essential for young women and girls to develop the skills, acquire knowledge, information and the resources they need to achieve a high quality of life and optimum health and wellbeing.


Embodying responsible LEADERSHIP with integrity, from a shared vision that inspires and motivates, and with the capacity to grow through change and deliver sustainable outcomes, perfects the ability to enable others to greatness.


MENTORSHIP is long term, centered in community and built around relationships between positive adult role models and young women facing challenges in their social, and personal lives.


CIVIC ENGAGEMENT is working to make a difference in communities. It is essential as young women and girls become empowered that they learn the importance of giving back and helping to build thriving communities.


     Hon. Jean Augustine PC, CM, CBE is the first African-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons. She was elected in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993 & sat in Parliament until 2006. During this time, she served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Minister of State & Deputy Speaker.

     In 2007, Dr. Jean Augustine was nominated by the Government of Ontario as Fairness Commissioner, a position created to advocate for Canadians with foreign credentials. Dr. Augustine retired from the position of Fairness Commissioner in March 2015.

     Among Dr. Augustine’s many achievements & honours includes leading the motion that allowed for the placement of the Famous Five statue on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, & the motion that created Black History Month in Canada.

     Dr. Augustine has received honorary Doctor of Laws degree from six universities & has been recognized by having the Jean Augustine Girls’ Leadership Academy, Jean Augustine Secondary School, Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment, Jean Augustine Park, & the Jean Augustine Chair in Education at York University named in her honour.