Tackle local poverty


Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty


United Way is pleased to announce that 19 schools have been selected to receive funding for their student-lead projects that take action against local poverty. The impact of the projects will be celebrated at an awards event in April 2020.

For any inquiries, please contact Annette Malin, Manager, Community Strategies at 780.443.8333 or by email at amalin@myunitedway.ca

Documents for Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty Participants:

Information Sheet 2019

Teacher Guide 2019

Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty Project Goals

Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty provides an ideal chance for schools to access funding and:

  • Teach students about the challenges local individuals and families face when living in poverty;

  • Inspire creativity, collaboration and strong sense of purpose;

  • Profile the work of students, a class and/or school;

  • Educate and encourage community members of all ages to show support for the fight against poverty in our region.

2019-2020 Approved Projects

The successful schools come from Edmonton Public School Board, Edmonton Catholic School District, Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, St. Albert Public Schools, and Elk Island Public Schools.

Athlone Elementary School, Edmonton – Athlone Bread Bakers Club

Britannia Junior High School, Edmonton – Fruit for Thought

Ecole Secondaire St Marguerite D’Youville Junior/Senior High School – Picturing the Faces of Poverty

Glendale Elementary School, Edmonton – In-School Food Bank

George P Nicholson Elementary School, Edmonton – The Giving Tree

Hillview Elementary School, Edmonton – Change for Change

Holy Trinity High School, Edmonton – Providing Fresh Vegetables to Those in Need

Keenooshayo Elementary School, Edmonton – Create a Ripple: Literacy for All

Major General Griesbach Elementary/Junior High School, Edmonton – Goodnight Edmonton

McKernan Elementary School, Edmonton – Pow to Poverty: Mckernan Connects to End Poverty

M.E. Lazerte High School, Edmonton – M.E. Lazerte Breakfast Club

Next Step High School, Sherwood Park – Digni-Tees: Exploring Addiction & poverty Through Fashion

Roberta MacAdams Elementary School, Edmonton – We Care for Underwear

Salisbury Composite High School, Sherwood Park – Digni-Tees: Exploring Addiction & poverty Through Fashion

St. Elizabeth Seton Elementary/Junior High School, Edmonton – Seton Sabres Give the Gift of Time

Strathcona Christian Academy Junior/High School, Sherwood Park – Warm Winter Clothes

Sweet Grass Elementary School, Edmonton – Warm Wishes

Westlawn Junior High, Edmonton – Access to Youth Recreation and Engagement Activities

2018-19 Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty Initiative

“This program allows students to learn about what poverty looks like for our friends, neighbours and fellow students. We want to activate students as leaders for the entire community to rally together and lift others out of poverty, creating an uplifting place for all.”
       —Sarah Chan, United Way Chair of Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty

Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will learn about poverty in their communities and contribute to projects which include a student breakfast club, collections of warm clothing to donate to people in need, a program to cut down on food waste, construction of a tower of non-perishable items for the food bank, and a street art project to highlight the challenges of homelessness.

“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 their development, and for the betterment of society as a whole”.
     — Fausto Franceschi, Managing Partner, Dentons Canada in Edmonton

Projects Photo Gallery 2018-19

Follow the link to see how student leadership takes action against the unignorable issue of local poverty:


Britannia School (Grade 8) – Help Yourself Off the Shelf

M. E. LaZerte High School (Grades 10-12) – Breakfast Club

Next Step High School (Grades 10-12) – Poverty Awareness with Skateboards

Jan Reimer School (Grade 3) – Supporting Women’s Shelters

Hillview School (Kindergarten-Grade 6) – The Kindness Project

Ecole Secondaire St Marguerite D’Youville (Grades 7-12) – Putting a Face to Poverty

Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty Celebration Event

Twenty-one schools in the Alberta Capital Region participated in the 2018-19 Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty (DMYM). An awards celebration happened April 29, 2019 where more than 350 students, teachers and guests attended.   

Award Winners

1.       Safety and Innovation Award – sponsored by Imperial – Britannia Jr. High – “Help Yourself Off the Shelf” helped students to access food as needed for themselves or their family.

2.       Social Justice Award – sponsored by Dentons – Ochre Park School. Gr. 3 students organized a pre-Christmas food drive for community over a two-week period. This donation was the largest contribution ever to their local food bank.

3.       Awareness Award – sponsored by United Way – “Poverty Awareness with Skateboards” from Next Step High School. Students created skateboard art and campaigned to raise awareness about youth poverty in the community.

4. Best in Show Award – sponsored by Dentons – Roberta MacAdams School for “A Pack and A Promise”. Students raised extra money, gained community support, and filled backpacks for the homeless, which included a hand-written card.

Celebration Photo Gallery

Nancy Critchley Photography

Thank you to the following organizations for their support of this United Way initiative

3-Year Title Sponsor

Thanks to Dentons, which has come on board as a 3-year title sponsor of this program (2018-2021)

3-Year Award Sponsor

Thank you to Imperial which is sponsoring an award and has also made a 3-year commitment. (2018-2021)

Media Partnership

We are proud to partner with Global for the Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty United Way initiative.

How it all Started

This program was first run in 2016-2017 school year as a celebration of the 75th anniversary for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. Projects included community gardens, personal care kits for the homeless, a pop-up street store for gently used clothing, and a colouring book that was sold to raise funds for literacy.

“Make Your Mark on Poverty is an opportunity for teachers to engage their students in a dialogue about poverty. Through the Make Your Mark on Poverty school grant opportunity, teachers and students can take their energy and passion for a poverty-free community and turn it into action.”
— Nancy Petersen, Edmonton Public School

Celebration Photo Gallery 2016

Andre PoitrasMake your Mark