top of page

2003 - 2012

Follow our inspirational journey through 2003 - 2012


Lloyd Morrisett coined the term “digital divide” to mean “a discrepancy in access to technology resources between socioeconomic groups’’ (Robyler, 2003, p. 191) and that providing youth with access to computers, online resources and technology, gives them the potential for enhanced success. 


Our founder, Lara Tavares, wanted to serve her community and had an idea - provide computers to kids who could not otherwise afford them. It seems like a no brainer now, but 20 years ago, no one was doing it. She created Sky’s the Limit Youth Organization in Toronto in 2003 to offer a solution to the digital divide in Canada.


“Sky’s the Limit provides youth with a limitless window of opportunity to be whatever and whoever they dream of becoming.” - Lara Tavares, Founder, 2003


Sky’s the Limit Youth Organization’s Founder, Lara Tavares, partnered with reBOOT Canada to purchase 100 refurbished desktop computers and with Pathways to Education Regent Park to coordinate delivery of the computers to students enrolled in their program.

An initial $20k donation funded this inaugural delivery (November 16th, 2004), of 100 computers which cost $200 per unit. Recipients received a desktop computer, keyboard, mouse and installed software to get them up and running quickly. 

Sky’s the Limit applied to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) for registered charity status and began to solicit donations for future deliveries. 


Sky’s the Limit delivered 225 refurbished desktop computers to youth participating in Pathways to Education Regent Park. 


Our first fundraiser was held at the Steam Whistle in Toronto where Natasha “Tash” Jean Bart and “The 1926 Project” delivered a jaw-dropping dance performance to our inaugural group of donors, supporters and volunteers. 


STL was featured in several news stories as the word about our mission began to spread across the GTA.


STL was granted registered charity status on 1/28/2005 (Registered Canadian Charity: BN 857579742RR0001)


The word of Sky’s the Limit’s important work continued to spread in the GTA and we began to receive and fill requests from youth across the city.

Back to school computer donations to youth enrolled in Pathways to Education Canada Regent Park continued as well as new deliveries to Burkes Bookstore and the St Lawrence Community Health Centre.

STL held our second annual fundraising event in June, this one at Revival featuring a musical showcase of Canadian talent.

The Toronto Sun published “Kids get new hope online - Try to imagine a world without computers or the Internet. Most people can’t”, an article featuring STL’s mission and early successes. (January 16th, 2006)


STL delivered 390 computers across the GTA and expanded to Ottawa, distributing 50 computers to Burmese refugees. Employees from the IBM Ottawa Lab teamed-up with Biking Blue for a Century (100km) ride for the newly established Ottawa Chapter of STL.


CNC Global Limited (now Randstad Canada), announced STL as one of its chosen charities, donated $10k and provided critical early-stage funding for our mission to serve youth in the GTA.

STL made an impact abroad as Founder, Lara Tavares,  participated in the development and implementation  of Careforce International’s "Portable Computer Project" in Ndalani, Kenya. 

We held our 4th annual fundraising event, Sonya Bhatia hosted the “Life Without a Computer” fundraising event and we were selected as the charity of choice for the “IceCream Summer Fest” concert taking place at the Molson Amphitheatre.

We were featured in the Kanata Kourier-Standard,The Toronto Star, Metronews, The Villager, CBC Radio One, Rogers Television, CBC Ottawa Morning, and The Ottawa Citizen.


Our annual event raised funds to bring computers to Indigenous youth. We delivered 80 computers to youth enrolled in the Kinomaugewgamik Elementary School and to families residing in the Shawanaga First Nation community.

STL volunteers delivered 585 computers across the GTA and Ottawa. The main recipients were Pathways to Education (P2E) Regent Park, P2E Rexdale, P2E Lawrence Heights, P2E Pinecrest (Ottawa), First Nations School of Toronto, COSTI Immigration Services, Youth In Motion and Stepstones for Youth. We also went national with a delivery to the Boys & Girls Club of Fredericton, New Brunswick.

We delivered our 1000th computer! (August 8th, 2008). 

Lara Tavares, STL Founder, won the FLARE Magazine Volunteer Award, the AronIMAGE Award (Youth & Community) and received a PricewaterhouseCoopers Individual Leadership Grant. Lara was featured in the Women’s Post, PEACE Magazine and ComputerWorld Canada.


2009 was a year of exciting partnerships. Kevin and Stephanie Weekes and The Kevin Weekes Celebrity Charity Golf Classic funded 50 computers for youth enrolled in The Phoenix Academy of Barbados. The Mike Pinball Clemons Foundation (MPCF) funded 60 computers to youth enrolled in the Youth Association for Academics, Athletics, and Character Education (Y.A.A.C.E.), and we partnered with ROGERS Canada to donate 70 computers for youth enrolled in Manning’s School in Westmoreland, Jamaica!


STL expanded to western Canada, and delivered 100 computers to youth enrolled in the The Native Education College in Vancouver, British Columbia. The college helps Indigenous learners realize their potential in a

supportive and cultural environment.


Our volunteers delivered 382 computers across Southern Ontario and in Montreal, Quebec. The main recipients were Pathways to Education (Regent Park, Kitchener, Verdun and Pinecrest), Big Brothers and Sisters of Peel, and Youth In Motion.


STL won “Best of Bayview” & “Best of North York” for Community & Public eye for 2009 and STL Founder, Lara Tavares, won the $10,000USD 2009 Harlequin “More Than Words” award, attributed to women who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities. We were mentioned in various media outlets including the Best of Bayview, the Bayview Post, the Fan 590 and CTV.


Our 2000th recipient, Brittiany, received her laptop on April 9th, 2010! 


STL expanded east to Prince Edward Island with 15 laptops to Morell Regional High School. We continued our expansion into western Canada and donated 55 laptops to the Urban Native Youth Association in Vancouver, British Columbia and 70 laptops to RB Russell School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Our volunteers delivered 240 computers across the Greater Toronto Area, with major donations going to P2E Regent Park and Rexdale, YWCA Jump in Etobicoke, Big Brothers and Sisters of Peel, and Living Rock in Hamilton. 


We also made an impact abroad with donations to a Ugandan orphanage and the Haiti earthquake relief effort.


Having joined STL in 2007, Rema Tavares stepped into the role of Executive Director in 2010.


STL received donations from TELUS, Ernst & Young, Fletcher’s Meadows Cross Trainers and TD Trust, the George Lunan Foundation, the JP Bickell Foundation as well as an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for $113,000 to increase resources, and won a year of free Endeavor Volunteer Consulting for Non-Profits. 


STL was featured in the Brampton Guardian, The Unique Life of J.S. Trench, Karmaloop TV, the Harlequin blog, CBC’s Metro Morning and Rogers TV.


STL participated in Fletcher’s Meadows Cross Trainer’s annual “Run4Hope” and partnered with them to donate 20 laptops to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel. 


STL participated in the TELUS Days of Giving and partnered with them to donate 100 laptops and knapsacks to youth. We partnered with Kevin Weekes and Stephanie Weekes to donate 50 laptops to YWCA Jump in Etobicoke.


Our volunteers delivered 435 computers across the Greater Toronto Area, with major donations going to Pathways to Education Regent Park (100), Lawrence Heights (75), Scarborough (20) and Pinecrest in Ottawa (70). We also delivered 35 laptops to YouthLink (formerly Big Sisters of Metropolitan Toronto). 

STL Founder, Lara Tavares, was featured in the Canadian Who’s Who, the only publication of its kind in print in Canada and the standard reference source of contemporary Canadian biography.


Our 3000th recipient, Francis, received his laptop (a MacBook Pro) on August 21st, 2012 at a celebration hosted by Tony Bradshaw and Canyon Creek, sponsored by Compugen Finance, Randstad Canada and TELUS. Rami Thabet (Aigu Consulting) provided funding for a "Thabet-Sky's the Limit Scholarship" for three STL recipients who also received laptops. 


STL partnered with the Mike Pinball Clemons Foundation to donate 56 laptops to the Youth Association for Academics, Athletics and Character Education (YAAACE).

Our volunteers delivered 551 computers, with major donations going to Pathways to Education Pinecrest (125), Scarborough Village (19), North Hamilton (17) and Kingston (124), Yonge Street Mission (60), YWCA JUMP Scarborough (27), North York Womens Shelter (20), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel (20), Musqueam Indian Band (20), Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (15), Youth In Motion (12), CW Jefferys High School (10), Living Rock (5) and 21 individual donations.

STL attended the Fletcher’s Meadows Cross Trainer’s 8th annual Run 4 Hope, Randstad Canada’s annual Charity Auction, the Central YMCA’s Y Green Festival, CCVT’s annual First Light Celebration, and the symphony with IBM.

We appeared in the “Toronto Is Awesome” Charitable Choices series and UBC’s “The Thunderbird”, and STL Founder, Lara Tavares, was featured in the 2012 edition of Canadian Who’s Who.

STL held laptop drives at Ontario Centres of Excellence (now the Ontario Centre of Innovation) and TELUS and we began our partnership with Compugen, purchasing our refurbished laptops from them going forward.

LANd Acknowledgement

Sky’s the Limit Youth Organization, a non-Indigenous organization, is committed to ensuring that all youth have access to technology and the opportunity to expand and heighten their knowledge and skills. We acknowledge our role as settlers in this land on Turtle Island. We are grateful to be able to live and work on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Wendat Peoples. We recognize the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and the Inuit peoples. We recognize the injustices of colonization and how we, as settlers, have directly benefitted from a colonial culture that has overseen the genocide, systematic oppression, and exploitation of Indigenous peoples. We commit to working toward safe, inclusive, just, equitable and healthy communities for all.

bottom of page