United Way of Calgary and Area & Youthscape
United Way is committed to helping all children succeed. We recognize that children and youth who face obstacles to success need our support. We also recognize that this work cannot be done alone.
A key strategy of United Way’s children and youth investment focus is to provide more opportunities for youth engagement. United Way of Calgary and Area wants to ensure that youth, especially vulnerable youth, are included in their community and have the opportunity to participate in positive activities. Youth in Calgary also require opportunities to contribute to their local community in productive and positive ways. YouthScape provides the opportunity for both youth and adults to contribute to positive change in our city.
United Way approached the J.W. McConnell Foundation, a national foundation committed to funding community initiatives across Canada, with a proposal to fund the Calgary site of its new national project related to youth engagement. We recognized that this new national initiative, which is now called Youthscape, aligned with our work with children and youth. United Way played a critical role in ensuring Calgary was one of five sites to offer the Youthscape initiative. With the help of Child and Youth Friendly Calgary and other community partners, United Way was successful in bringing this innovative new initiative to Calgary.
United Way is proud to support Youthscape and play a role in bringing youth and adults together to foster better communities and grow tomorrow’s leaders.
For more information on United Way’s Community Impact Plan for Children and Youth, visit www.calgaryunitedway.org
United Way Calgary and Area supports YouthScape Calgary
The “Big Dream” of the Calgary YouthScape initiative is to build a community in which all young people are seen, heard, and respected as citizens of the community. Youth, in all their diversity, are honored. Their voice serves as a catalyst for community change. As a result, Calgary is a stronger, more resilient city, a nurturing, exciting place to live.
The city of Calgary has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of youth inclusion, and our YouthScape initiative is starting from a position of strength. The convening agency, Child and Youth Friendly Calgary, is a recognized leader in creatively engaging youth in the community for the past 15 years and has partnered with the United Way of Calgary and area to support the project. A steering committee comprised of youth as well as youth engagement leaders from the community has been guiding the initial phases of the project. This dynamic team includes members from:
• Burns Memorial Foundation
• Calgary Between Friends Club
• City of Calgary
• Calgary Health Region
• University of Calgary
• Ghost River Rediscovery
• Urban Youth Worx
The path to realizing our dream is taking shape and we are using a youth lead and adult supported model where youth are involved at ALL levels of the project. This model has two focus areas:
• grass roots engagement of “marginalized youth” at a project level; and
• influence of youth at a systems level through their projects
We have chosen to narrow our focus by choosing one “system” to work within. Our current systems focus is transportation with a small “t” so that it encompasses all forms of transportation utilized by youth and children. Youth often rely on alternate forms of transportation and this can inform a sustainable transportation model and city planning that is healthy, safe, affordable and accessible for all. The projects being developed vary widely and include:
• Homeless Youth Earn-a-Bike Program
• making transit more youth friendly
• documenting safety issues from a youth perspective
• video documenting accessibility issues and the impact of Access Calgary.
This is all to achieve that long term goal of building resilient communities through youth engagement.