Stephen Harper announced Thursday that Ottawa will be spending $20 million, over four years, to support Pathways to Education, a program that targets students in poorer neighbourhoods. “In an underprivileged neighbourhood, a university or college campus can appear a long way off, even when the actual buildings are only a few blocks away,” he said in Toronto. “Our government is investing in inner-city youth, to help them get a good education and build better futures.” Pathways to Education is a charitable organization, operating in several Canadian cities, that aims to reduce poverty by lowering the high school dropout rate and improving access to post-secondary education. The program focuses on tutoring, mentoring and financial assistance. Since it launched in 2001 Pathways has seen dropout rates fall in some neighborhoods from 56 per cent to 10 per cent.