2019: YEAR IN REVIEW

In 2019 Youth Central…

1135

Youth Engaged

30151

Volunteer Hours

636

Volunteer Projects

ABOUT US

Founded in 1992, Youth Central celebrates and empowers Calgary-based youth. As a charitable non-profit, we offer diverse programming aimed at inspiring, engaging and celebrating youth through community-building and social inclusion. Our volunteer, leadership and outreach programs invite local youth aged 12 to 18 to develop new skills and gain a sense of belonging through community participation.

OUR MISSION

Inspiring, engaging, and celebrating youth through community participation. 

OUR VISION

All youth participate in shaping a vibrant community. 

OUR VALUES

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. 

Cindy Lei, Youth of Distinction Awards

I first started volunteering as an 11 year old because I thought it would be fun. Over time, I began to understand that volunteering is also about developing life skills, maturity and contributing to the community.
Read Cindy's Story

Volunteering on the Youth of Distinction Awards committee has allowed me to recognize youth across Calgary for their talents and services. as a committee member, I selected recipients for the awards and helped plan the ceremony at the Calgary Zoo. Youth Central has also allowed me to express myself creatively through the YAA blog, which I write for on a monthly basis.

 

I first started volunteering as an 11 year old because I thought it would be fun. Over time, I began to understand that volunteering is also about developing life skills, maturity and contributing to the community. Now, I volunteer for projects that fuel my passion and to meet people who are also passionate about solving issues. Having been rejected from many opportunities simply because of my age, the opportunity to be involved with Youth Central is something I am very thankful for.

As an active member of Youth Central, I have also been given chances to grow as a person, share my skills and gain experience for later in life. As a Youth Central volunteer, I’m embraced for my age and am able to learn and mature through exposure to a wide variety of experiences.

 

After high school, I plan to study biological sciences and eventually pursue a biological research career. Although Youth Central has not impacted my interest in biology, my involvement with the organization has increased my chances of achieving these post-secondary and career goals. Volunteering has also made me a better communicator, improving my ability to present research and reach out to others for opportunities in fields I am interested in.

Albert Cheng, Calgary Youth Foundation

Maybe the world isn’t perfect, and maybe there are problems that I cannot solve, but being involved with Youth Central has shown me that I don’t need to change the world, I just need to change someone’s world.
Read Albert's Story

Before joining Youth Central I had a very negative mindset and constantly put myself down by telling myself that I was just a kid and I could never change the world. And maybe the world isn’t perfect, and maybe there are problems that I cannot solve, but being involved with Youth Central has shown me that I don’t need to change the world, I just need to change someone’s world. I do believe I’ve done that, and I suppose that is what being with Youth Central means to me; it is a chance to do good, when I didn’t think I could.

 

I used to volunteer to simply accumulate hours. I volunteered to buff up my applications, but then I joined Youth Central and I started volunteering with a desire to get more involved in my community and to learn as much about it as I could. I volunteered to help in places I felt passion for. Within a few weeks of volunteering with Youth Central, my motivation to volunteer was no longer a desire for hours, but rather experience. I want to learn something new everyday, and I cannot think of a better way to do it than volunteering.

Looking at the numerous experiences Youth Central has provided me, I think my favorite would have to be each and every connection I’ve made. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time a lady gave me a candy after I wheeled her back to her room nor will I forget bonding with younger kids while playing with trains with them.

 

After high school, I’d like to go to business school and see where life takes me. Although, Youth Central did not direct my decision to go to business school, I do feel that it has impacted and shaped me a lot. 

Elnaz Enayatpour, TD Youth Earth Ambassadors 

The opportunity to be a part of Youth Central and to be such an active voice in my city means the most to me because it shows me just how vital community, understanding and leadership are to creating safe spaces and environments where we can be heard.
Read Elnaz's Story

My favourite experience with Youth Central was getting involved with a Downstage Theatre workshop project last year. We had the amazing chance to write poetry, stories and songs about our experiences and what it means to us to be youth in a rapidly changing world. The goal of the project was to create a link between youth voices and the fine arts, and it was a side of volunteering that I’d never seen before. Plus, I got to meet so many cool artists and directors from Downstage Theatre that I’m still connected with today.

 

The opportunity to be a part of Youth Central and to be such an active voice in my city means the most to me because it shows me just how vital community, understanding and leadership are to creating safe spaces and environments where we can be heard. To me, being a part of Youth Central and YVC is all about making an impact in your community that you want to see in the world, and understanding that your voice is important.

I volunteer because it’s fun! Volunteering is such a rewarding way to spend your time with other youth who are equally passionate about community and giving back. It’s also a great way to bring everyone together. I’ve met so many people my age who I’ve become incredibly close with that I’d never have met if I didn’t volunteer.

 

Everything I’ve learned from being a Youth Central volunteer is so important to who I am and I’m confident I’ll be able to take these skills to post-secondary as well. I’ve become more familiar with my community and the people in it, project planning, community outreach and how to take initiative for things you are passionate about. All this has helped me spark an interest for community and leadership, and these are things I know will continue to be a priority for me in the future.

Melanie Sing, Team Leader & Youth Central Alumni

My involvement with Youth Central has helped me with two key areas in my life. It has helped me become more assertive, which I use to advocate for the needs of the volunteers, and helping me to recognize diverse strengths in volunteers to help them best succeed at a project.
Read Melanie's Story
I began volunteering with Youth Central in May 2015, after listening to a close friend describe how fun and exciting her experience had been. My first project with Youth Central was with the Heritage Park: Day Out with Thomas event. I had a great time with the volunteers and Team Leader at that project, and so I continued volunteering with Youth Central to meet more people and make new friends. My favourite Youth Central memory is volunteering with the Sien Lok Society with their Chinese New Year gala event. My first time there, the energy from the event, the impact of my volunteering and the friends made at that project made the time I donated feel priceless. I am still friends with someone I met at that project and it has now been four years.
My involvement with Youth Central has helped me with two key areas in my life. It has helped me become more assertive, which I use to advocate for the needs of the volunteers, and helping me to recognize diverse strengths in volunteers to help them best succeed at a project. My experience as a team leader has been consistently fun and always new. Even if I work at the same projects, there is always something new to discover with the volunteers. It has helped me be more open and widen my idea of working in and with community. I always thought I would enjoy working with individuals, but what I am constantly discovering is that I can find smaller individual work in larger community work. 

Significant Events

  • Pecha Kucha Calgary

    In partnership with the Mayor's Youth Council, Pecha Kucha Calgary hosted their first event featuring both adult and youth presenters. The event, held at the Globe Theatre, sold out.

  • Town Hall series for MYC Continuing

    The Mayor's Youth Council continued their Town Hall series. 1000+ students attended events hosted in Wards 6, 7, 8 and two Mayoral Town Halls.

  • CYF Donor Presentation

    Through the Calgary Youth Foundation's donor presentation, they raised $6505 towards their endowment fund.

  • Big Build Projects

    Thanks to YVC HQ, the Sunderland Foundation and Home Depot, we partnered with the Federation of Calgary Communities and supported 6 community association projects.

  • First Youth Central Alumni Events

    Youth Central hosted two alumni events, welcoming former volunteers to encourage networking and development of an alumni program.

  • Discovering Choices

    The Outreach program's Discovering Choices Youth Councils reached 10,000 hours of volunteer service since it was launched in 2009.

Kamil Kanji, Mayor’s Youth Council 

I have learned what it means to be both an effective leader and a compassionate leader while simultaneously learning to understand how much more important people are than projects.
Read Kamil's Story

I feel as though the Mayor’s Youth Council and Youth Central as a whole have not only shaped me but have been one of the most defining experiences of my high school career. This program has completely transformed my take on leadership. I’ve learned what it means to be both an effective leader and a compassionate leader while simultaneously learning to understand how much more important people are than projects.

 

Before I joined Youth Central, I viewed leadership as being able to achieve the goal at all costs, no matter the effect it has on a person’s well-being. In joining the Mayor’s Youth Council, I met people who completely changed my perspective and showed me how important it is for every team member to be at peak emotional well-being. Now I know it’s okay if we need to take an entire meeting just to check up on the whole group or just laugh and enjoy ourselves because people (especially high school students) need that relief and need to talk to people when they are experiencing challenges. I am so lucky to have joined Youth Central because I’m not sure that I would have learned this very valuable lesson otherwise.

Over the course of the past few years, I have met so many people from different countries, backgrounds and walks of life who share their stories with me. These stories and deeper connections push me to find as many outlets of volunteerism as I can. I want to learn from these groups of people so that I can help even more people and better understand the world around me.

 

After high school, I hope to pursue a career in law. I would say that Youth Central has definitely impacted my decision to pursue an undergraduate degree in political science. Once again my involvement with the Mayor’s Youth Council seriously piqued my interest in municipal affairs and the functioning of not only municipal but federal government structures as well. It has inspired me to try and understand how I can give back to my country in a way that pushes for significant change in both our legal and political systems.

Grace Zhang, Youth Volunteer Corps

Every opportunity I gain from the program is a new learning experience in which I meet new people or try things I've never done before. I get to experience local community projects and be of service to them. Experiencing issues first-hand allows me to become an executor in tackling these issues.
Read Grace's Story

I first joined Youth Central as a general volunteer with the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) program. I later became involved with YVC Steering committee and the Calgary Youth Foundation. 

 

One of my favourite experiences with Youth Central has been working with the Cinderella Project, which happened to be my very first volunteer project. I’ve had the opportunity to help graduates get ready for their graduations, see their faces light up when they find “the dress” and even give them fashion advice about which accessories to choose. Graduating high school is a milestone achievement and getting to celebrate with these grads is truly heartwarming.  

 

Every opportunity I’m exposed to through Youth Central is a new learning experience in which I meet new people or try things I’ve never done before. I get to experience local community projects and be of service to them. Experiencing issues first-hand also allows me to understand how to tackle them. 

I volunteer because I enjoy being immersed in my community in unique ways. I would never have had the opportunity to work with a farmers market, be a part of a fashion show or a hip-hop dance competition. The friendships I’ve made through each project are also an intangible reward. Through every new experience, I continue to love volunteering with Youth Central and I hope to continue fostering amazing experiences.

 

After high school, I am planning to study neuroscience at the University of Calgary. Throughout the time I have been a part of the program, I have met various volunteers who wanted to pursue this degree as well. Having kept in touch, they shared their experiences within the program and influenced my desire to apply. 

CHAIR MESSAGE

Thanks to dedicated staff, motivated youth volunteers, and a strong board of directors, Youth Central continued to see growth in 2019. Like many organizations, we too have had to navigate the challenges of economic uncertainty in Calgary. Youth Central was grateful to rely on the unique skill set of our board as they supported our goals engaging local youth, expanding our connections, and elevating our profile in the community. 

The board focused on governance in 2019 because good governance makes for a great organization. We took a fresh look at the Youth Central policies and procedures, revising and updating as needed. Consulting, evaluating, and communicating the implications of policies may not be thrilling, but it is essential work in building a resilient foundation. 

We also launched an in-depth review of Youth Central’s guiding mission, vision and strategic plan. A broad range of feedback was collected from alumni, community partners, funders and external stakeholders to clarify Youth Central’s communication and relevance to the community. We gleaned insight about the quality, impact, awareness and perceptions of our work and how concepts like “volunteerism,” “leadership” and “social connections” inform our mission and vision. We are excited to expand upon this work in 2020. 

2019 was a busy year for Youth Central, as we engaged over 1100 youth. Our volunteers impressively donated over 30,000 volunteer hours to the Calgary community and helped 93 community organizations and agencies meet their goals.

On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank all those who supported Youth Central in 2019, whether you gave your time to strengthen our communications, consulted on our behalf to elevate our awareness, or supported us with a financial contribution – Thank you!

As we enter 2020, we’ll be focused on finalizing a new strategic plan, as well as developing even more capacity within our board of directors, our staff and the organization as a whole. 

We look forward to the upcoming year.

Matt Grant
Chair, Board of Directors
Youth Central

BOARD

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 – Technical Manager – Canadian Government Affairs, 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, CHRP – Strategic HR Specialist

Directors:

Derek Fraser, CFRE – President, iDoPhilanthropy
Bryce Kapsha – Benevity Expert/Team Lead, Benevity
Dean Koeller – President, Calvert Home Mortgage Investment Corporation
Jeff Lowe – Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, SMART Technologies
Elizabeth Lunney, CFA – Managing Director, Private Investment Counsel, ATB Investment Management Inc.
Sarah Pervez – Principal Consultant, Community Voices Consulting Inc.
Henry Su – Chief of Staff, Embark Trucks

 

STAFF

20181119_152910

Penny Hume

Co-Executive Director
20181119_152440

Lisa Kindree

Co-Executive Director
20181115_155753

Ros Doi

Program Director
20181119_152309

Sylvia Galica

Program Coordinator
Michelle website (2)

Michelle Hodgins

Program Coordinator
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Danni Bauer

Education Coordinator
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Peony Wong

Program Coordinator

Collaborating Organizations

Alberta Motor Association

Antyx Community Arts Society

Applewood Park Community Association

Arbour Lake Residents Association

Arusha Centre (Open Streets Calgary)

Association Canadienne-Francaise de l’Alberta

Auburn Bay Community Association

Auburn Bay Residents Association

Autism Calgary Association

Beakerhead

Bethany Care Calgary

Between Friends

Bishop O’Byrne Housing Association

Braeside Community Association

Calgary & District Labour Council

Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts

Calgary Earth Market Society

Calgary Neighbourhoods

Calgary Scotiabank Marathon

Calgary United Games Association

Canadian Cancer Society

Canwest Productions

Canyon Meadows School Council

Catholic Family Service

Centre for Suicide Prevention Centre

Children’s Birthday Miracles

Closer to Home Community Services

CommunityWise Resource Centre

Create Calgary’s New Children’s Festival

euroPRODUCTIONS

FAB Events

Fairview Community Association

Festival Society of Marda Loop

Food for Peace

Friends of Fish Creek

Give a Mile

Heritage Park Historical Society

Hispanic Arts Society

HIV Community Link

Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Inn From the Cold

Intercare Corporate Group

L’Arche Association of Calgary

Mahogany HOA Volunteer Committee

Marda Loop Communities Association

Marketplace Events

Mid-Sun Community Association

Monterey Park Community Association

Moonlight Market Foundation

New Brighton Residents Association

Northstar Residents Association

Ontologic

Outrun The Stigma

Palliser Bayview Pump Hill Community Association

PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture)

Parkinson Society Canada-Alberta

Parks Foundation Calgary

Pineridge Community Association

Portail de L’immigrant Association

Propellus

Prostate Cancer Canada

Ranchlands Community Association

Renfrew Community Association

Richmond Knob Hill Community Association

Rosanne Goetz Visual Communicaitons and Consulting

Rotary Club of Calgary East

Salvation Army Community Services Calgary

Sien Lok Society of Calgary

Signal Hill Community Association

Silvera for Seniors

Southfour Fastpitch Softball Association

Southwood Community Association

Strathcona Christie Aspen Community Association

Telus Spark

Temple Community Association

The Balance Foundation

The Shotokan Karate-do Association of Calgary

THIRD ACTion Film Festival

Thorncliffe Greenview

Touch Canada Broadcasting

Triwood Community Association

Twin Views Garden

Ujamaa Grandmas

United Way of Calgary and Area

Urban Productions

Venezuelan Canadian Association of Calgary

Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society

West Hillhurst Community Association

Westgate Community Association

Whitehorn Community Association

Wildwood Community Association

WinSport

World Partnership Walk Calgary

WP Puppet Theatre

FUNDERS

THANK YOU FOR GENEROUSLY SUPPORTING YOUTH CENTRAL THIS YEAR. 

$50,000+

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission; The Calgary Foundation; Anonymous Donor at the Calgary Foundation; Family & Community Support Services (FCSS); Youth Central’s Volunteer Engagement and Expansion Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps

$25, 000 – $49,999

Anonymous Donor; Government of Alberta; TD Bank Group; The Home Depot Canada Foundation; The Prosser Charitable Foundation

$10,000-$24,999

Penny Hume; Birdies for Kids, presented by Altalink; Canada Life; Government of Canada – Canada Summer Jobs; Roman Catholic Diocese Of Calgary; Trico Homes; Youth Volunteer Corps

$5,000-$9,999

Galvin Family Fund at the Calgary Foundation; Rotary Club of Calgary East; The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

$1-$4,999

Adam Stewart; Al Schreiner, in memory of Jeanne Strangeland; Alan and Geri Moon; Amanda Bustard; Andie Shaffer; Anonymous; Baljit and Nancy Dhaliwal; Byron Neiles; Calgary Youth Foundation Fund – Youth Central at the Calgary Foundation; Calvert Home Mortgage Investment Corporation; Canwest Productions Inc.; Cassie Gao and Ziyan Cheng; Chelsey Tattrie; Cindy Trieu; Connie and Eric Morris; ConocoPhillips Canada; Countryside Landscapes & Garden Centre; Cremers and Elliott Chartered Accountants; Cristina Zaganelli; Dean Koeller; Derek Fraser; Derrick Hunte; Douglas Nyhoff, in memory of Jeanne Strangeland; E2 & Associates; Elarbe Professional Services Inc.; Elizabeth Lunney; Ever Active Schools; Gerald J. Maier, in memory of Jeanne Phyllis Strangeland; Green Calgary Association; Harry & Martha Cohen Foundation; Henry Su; HEX Entertainment; Jamie Petrowich, on behalf of SMART Technologies; Jeff Lowe; Jemison Jackson; Jemm & Joules Event Management Inc; Jennifer Acevedo; Jim Pasieka; Jon-Scott Kohli; Julianne Rohel; Karen McIntosh; Lisa Kindree; Liquid Capital Smart Solutions; Lynn Berry; Mahogany Homeowners Association; Marc Brebber; Margaret Bertagnolli; Marketplace Events; Matco Financial Inc.; Mathew Burpee; Matt Grant; Michael Yeung; Nicholas Kokorudz; Patti Phelps; Peter Burpee; Purdy’s Chocolatier; RBC Foundation; Robert Nicolay, in memory of Jeanne Strangeland; Ros Doi; Rosanne Goetz; Rui Jiang; Ryan Duerr; Sandstone Asset Management Inc.; Sarah Pervez; Scott Townend; Shawn Freeman; Sir Winston Churchill High School – Amnesty International Club; SMART Technologies; Social Venture Partners – Calgary; Stephen Guppy; Sylvia Galica-Casuncad; Terry Booth; Tom Horner; Trung Bien; TWT Group; United Nations Association in Canada – Calgary Branch; Victoria Stosky; Wayne Stewart; Wendel Business Machines Corp.; Wentao Li; Wild Rose Brewery Ltd.; WinSport Canada; Yisha Pang; Yusi Liu; 1150547 Alberta Ltd.

Youth Central Audited Financial Statements