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Home / News / Students can break down educational barriers with help from All in for Youth
January 15, 2024
Local students Ttchtchara, Lasiya, Jude, Xiarh, and Emily share how All in for Youth creates a supportive educational journey and helps them succeed in school and in life.
Graduating high school helps pave the way for a successful and stable future, but many students and families in our region experience barriers that make it harder to stay in school.
Through initiatives like All in for Youth, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and our collaborative partners break down these barriers, empowering individuals to overcome obstacles and embrace the transformative power of education.
By being there for youth on their educational journey, our community’s support of All in for Youth can set the next generation up for success.
A collaboration between United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and nine local partners, All in for Youth aims to increase local high school completion rates through wraparound supports at eight local schools in Edmonton, from elementary to high school.
All in for Youth offers multiple supports for students and their families in and out of school that help improve academic achievement, school and community engagement, and develop resilience to handle life’s challenges.
“A youth might come in and want help with their math homework or want help making a resumé so they can apply for jobs. Just seeing the confidence that they’re able to build in this space that we provide for them, seeing them make friends and become more independent, that’s so great,” shares Aya Nasif, an All in for Youth coordinator at Eastglen High School.
In partnership with Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools, frontline partners Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area, e4c, The Family Centre, and REACH Edmonton provide unique services students and families need to change their circumstances and create a better future – for them and our community.
“It’s a great opportunity that you don’t even realize we needed until it’s there. Thank you, like from the bottom of my heart. I am so appreciative of this opportunity you’ve granted me,” says Xiarh, a recent graduate from Eastglen High School.
Lasiya shares how All in for Youth is there to support her educational journey, as well as her social and mental wellness and eliminate barriers.
All in for Youth recognizes that success in school isn’t just tied to academics, which is why the collaborative is driven to support students and their families in a holistic way.
“My parents aren’t together, and during that time it was really hard. Talking to Miss Mina, even as a kid, helped kind of understand your feelings,” shares an All in for Youth student Lasiya.
All in for Youth offers mentorship opportunities, family supports, and one-on-one and group mental health services to support the healthy development of students and address the complex needs faced by socially vulnerable students and their families.
Students can also access nutritious snacks and meals, before and after school programming, and success coaching to develop positive esteem, adaptability, persistence, and social and emotional connectedness.
For All in for Youth alumna Emily, her Success Coach was someone she could turn to when she was having a hard time at home and was preparing to drop out of school.
“He looked at me and he said: ‘I want you to know how strong you are, because I don’t think anyone has told you that you are extremely strong for dealing with what you’re going through right now and managing’. And then he told me that I didn’t have to do it alone anymore,” she describes.
With the support of All in for Youth staff, Emily was able to access a social worker and the Student Learning Fund, helping her stay in school and graduate.
Because of our supporters, All in for Youth students and families are creating positive change in their lives – and it’s making a difference in the broader community, too.
Improving high school graduation rates creates a stronger future for our entire region. Graduates are more likely to be employed and earn higher wages, growing our local economy, and reducing the pressure on the social sector.
“To United Way and the donors, I just want to say: you are helping students to actualize their dreams of post-secondary, and a life of fulfillment and meaning,” says Denise McNeill, principal of Eastglen High School.
Xiarh, an All in for Youth student, celebrates graduating from Eastglen High School in May 2023.
For vulnerable students, graduating is about more than just getting good grades. Healthy relationships with family and friends, secure food and housing, and mental health resources are vital in supporting students on their educational journey.
Through All in for Youth, we can remove barriers to learning and help students and families thrive.
By being there for youth on their educational journey, your support of All in for Youth can increase high school completion rates and set the next generation up for success.
Together, we are empowering students and their families to make generational change and build stronger, stable futures.
Learn how All in for Youth collaborative rallies local partners to provide the unique services students and families need to change their circumstances and create a better future – for them and our community.
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