The middle school years can be a challenging period of time for youth, especially those whose families have limited resources. Many youth make critical decisions about their educational and career goals during this time, much of it influenced by the perceived barriers arising from their economic and social situations. The McMaster Children & Youth University (MCYU) strives to lower these barriers in resource-challenged areas of Hamilton and its surrounding communities by delivering programs that inspire and academically empower youth to complete high school and pursue postsecondary education in subject areas such as science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The MCYU works in partnership with the community to develop youth as knowledge creators, not just knowledge consumers. Just as important, university faculty and students have the opportunity to exchange knowledge with community partners.