Day 4: What Makes Youth Stronger? #NowImStronger

“By supporting our city’s next generation, we make the best happen.”

Did you know that in Calgary, 27,000 youth struggle with achieving and maintaining wellbeing and mental health? That means that at any given time in Calgary, 20% of kids trying to accomplish things like studying or practicing sports could be dealing with some really serious obstacles. Around 14% of youth facing these challenges lack positive supports, like the support of a positive adult. Without this support, a youth is more likely to drop out of high school, which in turn reduces their earning potential and increases the likelihood they will need to access social services throughout their lives.

The young people in our city are our future, and we know how important it is to support our most vulnerable.  We know for sure that what makes our city stronger is the people. United Way of Calgary and Area, along with community, school and government partners, is committed to helping youth realize their potential with innovative initiatives like  All In for Youth.

Establishing positive adult-youth connections is one of the best ways to assist youth who are facing challenges, whether it’s with mental wellbeing, completing school or just general life stuff. All In for Youth has already connected almost 4,000 vulnerable youths to positive adults through community-wide programs.

Alexis is one great example of how a positive connection between a youth and an adult can turn a life around, when family support isn’t enough.

Alexis moved from a foster home in Edmonton to Calgary when her grandparents adopted her, but she never really felt like she fit in. When Alexis was in high school her grandfather became terminally ill. Alexis had never learned proper coping skills, and she started using drugs. This made her mental health worse, caused trouble for her at school, and eventually she was kicked out. Like Alexis, many kids face complex issues and need some help handling them.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the end of the story for Alexis. She was connected with a Success Coach and mentor through All In for Youth. Through her own hard-work and the help of an adult who cared, Alexis was able to get clean, get financial assistance, improve her mental wellbeing and is now on track to earning her high school diploma.

Alexis’ difficult experience isn’t unique, and the outcome doesn’t need to be either!

Connecting youth with a positive adult creates a bond that makes them both stronger. For Alexis, what made her stronger was having an adult mentor in her life to guide her. She needed someone, and because of programs supported by United Way, that someone was there for her.

By supporting our city’s next generation, we make the best happen. Join the movement and have a positive impact on a youth’s life by investing in United Way. Be the someone who makes one young person say, #NowImStronger.

Be sure to join the conversation and tell us, what makes you stronger?

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