All in for Youth helped Emily graduate high school - United Way Alberta Capital Region

All in for Youth helped Emily graduate high school

June 12, 2023


When children and teens feel safe, cared for, and encouraged, they have greater confidence and resilience, and more energy to focus on school.

All in for Youth is an initiative of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region at eight Edmonton schools. This unique collaboration of ten local agencies provides support and guidance for youth from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

The AIFY team in schools make sure kids can focus on being kids, by providing nutritious meals and snacks so kids can focus on their studies and not their hunger; mental health coaching and social skills development to make sure school is a safe and healthy space; and after school care and homework help to make sure they’re meeting their academic needs too.

Emily was worried she’d have to drop out of high school when she had to move out of her home as a teenager.  Below, she shares her story of resilience and how AIFY helped her pursue her passions and graduate.

I graduated from an All in For Youth school in 2018.

From homework help after school, to giving us snacks and meals whenever we were hungry, All in for Youth was able to fill in the gaps that some houses were missing.

For me it was life-changing, because I was in a place where I didn’t feel at home in my home. And so being able to go to school and then feel loved and taking care of and wanted — it made a huge difference. It made me feel like I was actually a person.

Had I not been in an All in for Youth school, I wouldn’t have graduated.

There was a whole bunch of turmoil at home, and I ended up having to move out. And so, I went to school the next day freaking out. I went to my grade coordinator, and I was telling him that I had to drop out of school, in order to make it on my own. I needed to focus on getting my life together and education just wasn’t something that I could focus on at the time.

It was there that my grade coordinator introduced me to the All in for Youth team, and it was like it was like a light at the end of a tunnel.

I thought everything was coming to an end. I thought that everything was falling apart around me and All in for Youth showed me that it was just the beginning.

They helped make my passions pursuable. They helped make my dreams seem attainable.

I owe so much to them.

I don’t know where I would be without them. They have helped me do things I didn’t even think were possible.