United Way looks at the big picture to deliver a coordinated network of services and programs to address a range of needs for children and families who are living in poverty.
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United Way is a network of more than 75 local United Way offices. Since 1941, we’ve worked in the Alberta Capital Region for the betterment of all.
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Home / Programs / Children and Youth / Make Your Mark
“Dentons is pleased to support United Way of the Alberta Capital Region as we work towards ending poverty in Edmonton. This educational initiative is designed to not only teach our children the significance of giving back, but also empower, inspire, and encourage the next generation of philanthropic leaders in our community. Helping those less fortunate is an important lesson for a student’s development, and for the betterment of society as a whole.”
— Fausto Franceschi, Managing Partner, Dentons Canada in Edmonton
Presented by Dentons, Make your Mark is a community-based leadership development program that educates students (grades K-12) on poverty, the role of nonprofits, and students’ agency as leaders. United Way provides guidance and funding up to $1,000 to develop and execute student-led initiatives against poverty in the greater Edmonton community.
Make your Mark features programming and resources to support teachers and students in developing their project, including:
“Thank you for this wonderful program. It was the highlight of the year for my students. I got great feedback from their families as well.”
– Tina Yonge
“… it has been such an amazing opportunity/project for our students, and, due to their passion and thoughtful ideas, has turned into a much bigger project than we originally envisioned.” – Vanessa Mcleod
“I have seen more change in my students through this project than I could have imagined.” – Croia Taylor
Make your Mark teams will have three months (November - January) to develop and carry out their projects supported by workbooks and optional mentors from United Way. Following a virtual kickoff event, teachers and student teams will identify a poverty-related problem they want to solve. They will then work with United Way to further develop their project plan in alignment with approved grant funding. After completing their projects, students will reflect on their experiences and have the chance to be celebrated at United Way’s annual Red Tie Awards Gala in March.
To apply, teachers identify why they and their students are interested in the program and establish a potential focus area for the project. Deadline to apply is Oct. 7, 2022.
A virtual kickoff on Oct. 12, 2022, will connect MYM teachers/school leads, review NEW program features, answer questions about the program, and explore current issues of poverty in our community.
Throughout November and December, student teams will develop, refine, and plan their projects with access to United Way resources and optional mentor support.
To be eligible for grant funding, teams must submit their project plan and budget to United Way no later than Dec. 16, 2022. Successful applicants will receive grants of up to $1,000 to make their ideas reality.
With funding in place, teams will carry out their projects, measure results, and reflect on their experience. Reports are due by January 31, 2022.
All projects will be recognized, and some may be featured by local news outlets. Projects from each age group will be selected to receive awards at the United Way Red Tie Awards Gala in March 2023. Consideration will be given to a project’s community impact, awareness building, courage/innovation, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The Breakfast Club involves students and community volunteers who cook breakfasts for students and staff. This project allows students to learn basic cooking and cleaning skills, as well as interact with members of the community. This club is a safe, non-judgmental place to enjoy a meal.
Students at École Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d'Youville produced a documentary that helps to answer the question of what poverty looks like in St. Albert. They also held a number of fundraisers, culminating in $2,600 raised for the St. Albert Food Bank, GIANNA Centre and Youth Empowerment, and Support Services.
Students researched the complexities of poverty, including the role literacy plays in poverty. Students then purchased books, assembled literacy packages, and then delivered them to a school in need. This helped students to appreciate how significant the challenge poverty is, and that collectively we all have a responsibility to work towards a solution.
This program would not be possible without the ongoing support of local businesses committed to making an impact in our community. Interested in supporting?
Teacher-student teams have until Friday, October 7, 2022 to submit their application.