Break the Cycle

United Way funding is helping kids from the start, with caregiver education programs, early learning and development, support through the school years and all the way to high school completion to prepare them for a life beyond poverty.

38,711 people were helped through United Way investments in Break the Cycle

30 United Way Funded Programs & Partnerships helped:
Every funded program reports the impact that programs have on clients. Here are some examples:


  • Increased confidence, self esteem and improved problem-solving and coping skills in children and youth.
  • Children and youth demonstrate improved language, motor and social skills
  • Improved concentration and mental preparedness for school with improved academic outcomes.

How we do it.

United Way invests in our region’s success by providing funding where the need is greatest. Our strategy is 100% local, shaped specifically for the Alberta Capital Region and impacts families right here in our community.

Success By 6®

The early years set the foundation for all future learning and development. For children who grow up in poverty, getting the right opportunities to build those skills is often out of reach.

Families living in poverty face emotional and social challenges that create high levels of chronic stress. In the end, it can lead to cognitive lags, health and safety issues for children.

33% of the children in Kindergarten in Edmonton are experiencing great difficulty in one or more areas of development, with the most significant gaps being in communication skills and general knowledge.

United Way and its partners are committed to providing vulnerable children and youth with supports to complete high school and create a path out of poverty, and that starts at birth.

Success in School

One in five Edmonton youth are not completing high school in three years. Lack of education and the likelihood of a life in poverty are directly linked. People with higher levels of education are more likely to have better jobs, live in safer home and report better physical and mental health. Things which is good for the whole community.

Story of Change

Throughout high school, Tara struggled with issues of self-esteem and confidence.

She felt like she could not live up to her family’s expectations and sometimes experienced feelings of insecurity with peers. Going to school was an emotional challenge as she worked to meet the expectations she felt others had of her. It led to anxiety and depression. At times, the intense feelings made it challenging for her to get out of bed and significantly impacted her ability to focus or be interested in learning at school.

Such experiences can greatly affect a youth’s ability to graduate high school. High school completion is a key indicator of future life success and a pathway out of poverty. Tara’s situation was putting her at risk of becoming another statistic: one in five high school students in Edmonton does not graduate due to barriers such as the ones Tara faced. People who don’t graduate high school often live with low-income or in poverty.

A member of the All in for Youth (AIFY) team noticed Tara was struggling and reached out to see how she was doing. As a result, Tara was connected with various AIFY supports that helped her learn the skills she needed to overcome her personal and academic challenges. “The (All in for Youth) people believed in me for a reason, so I’m using that to work hard,” she notes. “They have helped so many students, not just individually, but they are helping the community as a whole.” Tara graduated high school in June and is working now full-time. She is planning to go to post-secondary school in the fall, and is currently exploring which field she wants to go into. Because of the dramatic impact the AIFY staff had, she is considering a career in social work.

“They have helped so many students, not just individually, but they are helping the community as a whole.”

Learn more about the All In For Youth Program.

All In For Youth
Andre PoitrasBreak the Cycle