Youth Central is a charitable non-profit organization founded in 1992. Through our eight different programs, Youth Central offers volunteer and leadership opportunities to youth aged 12-18. Our goal as an organization is to change the perception of youth in our communities by giving youth the tools and support they need to become engaging, empathetic and caring citizens with a sense of ownership and responsibility. We support youth in building valuable skills for future employment, give youth a voice, and grow youth’s understanding of their community. We are building Calgary’s leaders of today and tomorrow.
Inspiring, engaging, and celebrating youth through community participation.
All youth participate in shaping a vibrant community.
We believe that youth are awesome!
We honour the power of the youth voice and the importance of youth in our society.
We value a community in which all youth are respected and encouraged to be active citizens.
We value the diversity, skills, creativity, and talents of our volunteers, participants, and staff.
We value community partnerships that align with our vision and mission.
Volunteering is not a one-sided benefit; it benefits everyone, the volunteer, the organization, the people volunteered for, and greater society. It is a unique experience that you can only have when you bring compassion and appreciation for other people while giving your own time and energy.
I’ve been involved with Youth Central since 2014, and have contributed over 500 hours to the Youth Volunteer Corps program. I was a senior volunteer in 2017, am currently a member of the YVC Steering Committee and was also selected to take part in the YVC Summit in South Carolina!
My favourite experiences with Youth Central has been the events I’ve been able to help plan with other youth on our own, like the YVC graduation party, Alumni panel and various fundraisers. Youth Central staff help us tremendously in creating events and ensuring they’re successful – I think it’s uncommon to receive such support
Being part of Youth Central has taught me to become a leader in my own way. I’ve learned to listen to other people, create a comfortable environment for them, initiate conversations and become an encouraging team player. Youth Central has also taught me how privileged and lucky I am. Through volunteering, I’ve interacted with people from all kinds of backgrounds and became educated through experience.
After high school, I plan to study science and business. I also want to get into the medical field, and I know that will involve some volunteering. I love working with kids, and I hope that my future career includes meeting and working with kids.
Being able to volunteer with Youth Central has really helped me reach my goals and has given me the chance to put my time into helping the community.
I’ve been involved with Youth Central as a program committee member of the TD Youth Earth Ambassadors, Mayor’s Youth Council and Youth Volunteer Corps since 2016.
I’ve really enjoyed my time as a member of the TD Youth Earth Ambassadors. A couple of my favourite memories were created at the Vegetarian Cook-Off we’ve hosted for the past two years. I really enjoyed spending time with the chefs, seeing other youth participate and learning about sustainable cooking. Another highlight of my time with Youth Central was volunteering for the City of Calgary compost bin project. It was really fun being able to spend time at the warehouse and meet new people.
Being able to volunteer with Youth Central has really helped me reach my goals and given me the chance to put my time into helping the community. It makes me feel good knowing that I put my time and energy into a good cause.
In the future, I’d like to study computer science. Youth Central has helped me meet a lot of new people interested in all sorts of topics including politics, biology, and technology – some of who influenced my decision to continue to pursue my passion of technology after high school.
Youth Central has given me the opportunity to take initiative and realize I want to help people that have been in the positions I have.
In 2015, I started volunteering as a member of the Marlborough Discovering Choices Youth Council, which is a partnership program between Youth Central’s Outreach Program ad Discovering Choices Schools. Since I began, I’ve contributed over 80 volunteer hours.
One of my favourite experiences with Youth Central was receiving the Perseverance award at the Youth of Distinction Awards in 2017. I was really proud of myself on that day, and it showed me that It’s possible to overcome hardships and become a better person.
Being involved with Youth Central has brought me out of my shell, and has helped me become a contributing member of my community. I’ve been able to build positive relationships with people and develop the key traits to becoming a leader. Youth Central gave me the chance to find out who I am and what I want to be
In the future, I hope to attend Mount Royal University for social work. My goal is to become someone who will make a difference in the world.
My experience at Youth Central gave me the confidence to lead teams, communicate effectively, and structure my problem-solving.
I began volunteering with Youth Central in 2010 and became an alumna in 2013. During my time at Youth Central, I was a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council and Youth Volunteer Corps. I continued to stay involved with Youth Central as a Team Leader for the Youth Volunteer Corps program, an alumni panelist, consultant for alumni engagement strategy, and now as a board member.
My favourite memory at Youth Central was the Calgary Youth Volunteer Fair, which I helped plan with the Mayor’s Youth Council. I remember nervously walking into the Calgary municipal building, carrying a bag full of textbooks from classes earlier in the day. The atrium was neatly lined with booths – volunteers from various agencies were setting up posters and tri-folds. This was the first annual Calgary Youth Volunteer Fair, and we, the organizing team, were uncertain of the turnout to expect.
Gradually, students began to filter in, grabbing cardboard passports to collect stamps from each agency they spoke with. Before long, the atrium was buzzing with activity. In all, we connected 150+ students to over a dozen organizations. But beyond numbers, it was the excitement and energy in the air which made this experience truly meaningful.
My experience at Youth Central gave me the confidence to lead teams, communicate effectively, and structure my problem-solving. These skills were important assets in the professional roles I took. In my current work, I act as a trusted advisor to senior management in industry, often in a standalone capacity. Youth Central equipped me with the leadership tools required to be effective in this role.
I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces after I help them with something. I think volunteering regardless of the intentions of the volunteer genuinely has the ability to help. And I think that fact in and of itself is why I have a moral obligation to volunteer, and I do.
I’ve been involved with the Calgary Youth Foundation and the Youth Volunteer Corps for three years.
One of my favourite experiences with Youth Central was the bag stuffing project where we had to help the City of Calgary roll out the green cart program. It was a lot of hard work, but I got to meet a lot of new people and formed relationships with Youth Central volunteers I’d never had a chance to work with before. The project itself was repetitive and tiring, but I took a lot away from it and it was actually pretty fun.
Being involved with Youth Central has helped me develop skills I wouldn’t have been able to learn anywhere else.
The structure of the program has allowed me to volunteer for a bunch of different projects, at times that are convenient for me – which doesn’t normally happen with regular volunteer roles.
After high-school, I plan to attend university for engineering or physics. Though Youth Central may not have directly impacted this decision for me, it’s certainly helped me develop a network of people that have contributed to the choices I’ve made. In the future, I’ll continue to be a philanthropist and volunteer because of the values and ideals that Youth Central has instilled in me.
To volunteer is to support the community, support others, and support a sense of service within myself.
I’ve been a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council since 2015, and I’m currently serving as a Co-Chair for the council in the Connections and Opportunities committee.
One of my favorite experiences with Youth Central has been serving specific groups of youth in Calgary that are often disenfranchized from the majority of initiatives and opportunities provided by local organizations. From the data the Mayor’s Youth Council collected in a survey, I’ve learned how to adapt our initiatives to best encourage and engage all youth in Calgary.
The Mayor’s Youth Council has allowed me to develop the confidence and skill set necessary to create change.
Not only have I been able to help plan and host major events and initiatives for youth in Calgary, but I’ve also met and learned from inspiring peers and mentors.
Volunteering is a way for me to express the gratitude I have toward Calgary. The mentors at Youth Central have shaped the person I am today. To volunteer is to support the community, support others, and support a sense of service within myself.
As I pursue post-secondary education, I’ll retain the core values of service, leadership, and integrity bolstered by my involvement in Youth Central’s programs.
Youth Central’s 26th year was a pivot from celebrating the past. We focused on supporting and building our team and improving leadership capacity so that the next 25 years see even greater community impact.
2018 was a year of growth for our board of directors. We welcomed Yisha Pang (also our new Treasurer), Sarah Pervez, Bryce Kapsha, Fazilah Shariff and Jennifer Acevedo. They joined our dynamic board, which includes Mathew Burpee (Vice Chair), Julianne Rohel (Secretary), Derek Fraser, Dean Koeller, Jeff Lowe and Elizabeth Lunney. Our strengthened team was then able to turn to governance and leadership development efforts (for both staff and the board), which will continue to be a strategic priority for 2019.
We also said goodbye to Russell Anderson, who served as our Treasurer, and longtime director Dean Allatt, who has been with Youth Central, in a variety of capacities, since 1998. We’re incredibly thankful for their service and passion for the organization.
This year the organization engaged over 1,100 youth. These young people generously gave 31,000 volunteer hours to the Calgary community and helped 90 community agencies meet their missions and support their clients.
This year Youth Central also conducted an online survey of Calgary youth to obtain an understanding of local trends in volunteering and philanthropy. The information from this study will enable us to improve our programming and ensure our young volunteers continue to have a massive impact on the city.
Another high point – our Executive Director and founder Penny Hume was asked to join the international board of directors of the Youth Volunteer Corps. The YVC is a network of affiliated organizations across the U.S. and Canada (including Youth Central) that engage youth ages 11-18 in team-based, structured, diverse, flexible service-learning opportunities.
2018 was a critical year in preparing our organization to position Youth Central as an even more serious, impactful force for good in Calgary and beyond. We’re focused on encouraging and developing young volunteers and leaders like never before. Great things are ahead for 2019!
Chair, Board of Directors
The Youth Central Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that the mission and vision of Youth Central are being fulfilled through strong leadership, effective planning, and sound fiscal management. Thank you to the Youth Central Board of Directors for their hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm.
Board Chair: Matt Grant – Government Affairs Strategist – Prairies, Enbridge Inc.
Vice Chair: Mathew Burpee, CA, CFA – Managing Director, Kepler Capital Corporation
Treasurer: Yisha Pang, CA – Senior Advisor Financial Reporting, Enbridge Inc.
Secretary: Julianne Rohel – Strategic HR Specialist
Derek Fraser, CFRE – President, iDophilanthropy
Bryce Kapsha – Relationship Coordinator, Benevity
Dean Koeller – President, Calvert Home Mortgage Investments Corporation
Jeff Lowe – VP Marketing, SMART Technologies
Elizabeth Lunney – Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Matco Financial Inc.
Sarah Pervez – Principal Consultant, Community Voices Consulting Inc.
Fazilah Shariff – Health Administration Professional
Henry Su – Business Analyst, McKinsey & Company
If you’re interested in joining the Board of Directors or would like to reach a specific Board Member,
please contact Lisa Kindree at 403-266-5448 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alberta Cancer Foundation
Antyx Community Arts Society
Arbour Lake Residents Association
Arusha Centre (Open Streets Calgary)
Auburn Bay Community Association
Auburn Bay Residents Association
Bethany Care Calgary
Bishop O’Bryne Housing Association
Calgary & District Labour Council
Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts
Calgary Earth Market Society
Calgary Public Library
Calgary Run For Water
Calgary United Games Association
Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park
Canadian Cancer Society
Canyon Meadows School Council
Capitol Hill Community Association
Carewest-Alberta Health Services
Catholic Family Service
Centre D’appui Familial
Centre for Suicide Prevention
Closer to Home Community Services
Eugene Coste School Enrichment Society
Fairview Community Association
Festival Society of Marda Loop
Food for Peace
Friends of Fish Creek
Give a Mile
Global FamilyMed Foundation
Heritage Park Historical Society
Hispanic Arts Society
HIV Community Link
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Inn From the Cold
Intercare Corporate Group
Kidney Foundation of Canada – Southern Alberta Branch
L’Arche Association of Calgary
Mahogany HOA Volunteer Committee
Marda Loop Communities Association
Mid-Sun Community Association
New Brighton Residents Association
North Glenmore Park Community Centre
Outrun The Stigma
Palliser Bayview Pump Hill Community Association
Parkinson Society Canada-Alberta
Parkland Community Center
Portail de L’immigrant Association
Prostate Cancer Canada
Ranchlands Community Association
Rare Genomics Institute Calgary
Renfrew Community Association
Richmond Knob Hill Community Association
Rotary Club of Calgary East
Salvation Army Community Services Calgary
Shamrock Children’s Christmas
Sien Lok Society of Calgary
Silvera for Seniors
Southfour Fastpitch Softball Association
Southwood Community Association
Strathcona Christie Aspen Community Association
Sunrise Community Link Resource Centre
Temple Community Association
The Calgary Board of Education: Cinderella Project
The Hellenic Society of Calgary
THIRD ACTion Film Festival
Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society
West Hillhurst Community Association
Wildwood Community Association
World Partnership Walk Calgary
WP Puppet Theatre
YYC Food Trucks
Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Anonymous Donor at the Calgary Foundation, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), The Calgary Foundation
Birdies for Kids, presented by AltaLink, Government of Alberta, TD Bank Group, The Prosser Charitable Foundation
Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life, Penny Hume, Roman Catholic Diocese Of Calgary, TELUS, The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, United Way of Calgary and Area
Al Duerr, Anonymous, Art Korpach, Alice Lam, Benevity, Bryce Kapsha, Canadian Western Bank, CanWest Productions Inc., Carmen Cheng, Carolyn Byers, Community Natural Foods, ConocoPhillips Canada, Cremers And Elliott Chartered Accountants, Dean Allatt, Dean Koeller, Discovering Choices School, Elizabeth Lunney, Eric Morris, George Fink, Geri Moon, Green Calgary Association, Greg Quinn, Harry And Martha Cohen Foundation, Inderpal Dhillon, Jane Wu, Jemison Jackson, Jennifer Acevedo, Jo Williams, Jon-Scott Kohli, Julianne Rohel, Karen McIntosh, Keum-Joo Min, Lisa Kindree, Loop’d, Louis Westergard, Lynn Berry, Lynn Rafter, Mahogany Homeowners Association, Marc Brebber, Margaret Bertagnolli, Mars Saad, Mathew Burpee, Matt Grant, Matt Stellick, MEG Energy, Miguel Capriles, Nicholas Iskandar Aramouni, Nick Dimarzo, NRG Research Group, Patti Phelps, Peter Burpee, Raymond To, RBC Foundation, Ros Doi, Rotary Club Of Calgary East, Ruhee Ismail-Teja, Russell Anderson, Ryan Duerr, Sandstone Asset Management Inc., Sean Baylis, Shawn Freeman, Terry Booth, Theresa Dewis, Tirian Eynon, Trung Bien, Tuan Tran, Vicki Switzer, Wentao Li, WinSport, Yisha Pang, Youth Volunteer Corps