Our Story

SOS was born out of the idea that everyone deserves the right to a quality education. Our journey began in 2004. Our founder, a Wilfrid Laurier University student at the time, was inspired by his parents who were both teachers. Working with some friends he began running academic support sessions to help his peers; while donating all proceeds to organizations supporting access to education. The idea took off and since then we’ve grown to campuses coast to coast while growing our global coalition of partners.

If you would like to find out more about us, download the SOS Overview

Our Impact

Our partner funding model empowers local communities to determine their own needs. Through these projects, we hope to provide a better experience, environment and opportunity for education to flourish. Based on community-driven proposals, here’s a highlight of our past projects ranging over 4 different classifications:

Access to Education

102 Projects - Classroom Construction, Renovations

Nutrition and Wellbeing

69 Projects - School Gardens

Education Quality

41 Projects = Libraries, Labs, Materials

Recreation

23 Projects - Playground, Field, Courts

Working with nine long-standing international partners, we’ve supported over 200 projects supporting access to education. For more information about our partners and communities, check out our blog to learn about past work and projects that we've been apart of building.

We pride ourselves on our ability to create win-win-win solutions for everyone involved, including volunteers, Exam Aid attendees, and trip participants.

Our Corporate Partners

The Princeton Review
Since 2012 we've been partnered with this leading national provider of premium test prep services to help our volunteers and program participants access great post-graduation opportunities. Learn more here.

Scotiabank
Looking to put your education into practice? As a Best Place to Work in multiple geographies, Scotiabank provides you with all of the resources to help make the most of your career. Join Scotiabank and belong to a high-performing team with a passion for success. Scotiabank is recognized as a Best Workplace®, in Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru and Chile by the Great Place to Work® Institute.

Hundreds of inspiring, heartwarming and even heroic career stories take place at Scotiabank every day. Start your amazing career story today at Scotiabank.

PROPHIX
Prophix is a fast growing software company based in Mississauga serving clients in over 100 countries. Prophix CPM software automates critical financial processes such as budgeting, planning, consolidation, and reporting—improving a company’s profitability and minimizing their risk. Beginning in 2017, Prophix and SOS have partnered to support the delivery of Prophix’s CSR mandate, including coordination of volunteer abroad opportunities for employees, and contribution towards international projects.

BLAKES
SOS is grateful to be an officially recognized pro bono client of Blakes, Cassels, and Graydon LLP (Blakes). Blakes is one of Canada’s top business law firms, providing exceptional legal services to leading businesses in Canada and around the world. Blakes has twice been recognized as the top law firm brand in the Acritas’ Canadian Law Firm Index, as well as named Canada Law Firm of the Year for the eighth consecutive year, and the top-ranked Canadian firm in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2016, among other awards and recognition.

EMBER ADVISORY LTD
Rob Scott, founder and Managing Partner of Ember Advisory Ltd., was one of the participants of an SOS alumni trip to Central America in 2013. John Shoust and Rob met on that trip and together gave birth to an idea for a new initiative called Winds of Change. Winds of Change focuses on the incubation of renewable energy solutions and vocational training in partner communities in Nicaragua. Ember Advisory has provided ongoing financial and communications sponsorship for Winds of Change including the production of the documentary film called The Best of What We Are. Ember is a boutique advisory firm based in Toronto that leverages Rob’s twenty-five years of experience in management and technology consulting. Learn more about the partnership of Ember Advisory, SOS, and Winds of Change.

LUSH
Through its program called Charity Pot, LUSH Handmade Cosmetics has helped sponsor grassroots renewable energy and vocational training initiatives in Pedro Arauz, Nicaragua. LUSH's support has gone towards the initiatives of Winds of Change, a project incubated and supported by Students Offering Support. Learn more about LUSH and their Charity Pot program.