International Youth Day was established by the United Nations in 2000, and the organization says its purpose is to recognize that young people’s imagination, ideals, and energy are vital for the continuing development of societies.
It celebrates the impact that young people have in education, employment, conflict resolution, and social justice—to name only a few areas where their influence is essential.
At Gateway, we partner with and refer to organizations that support the development and well-being of young people so that they can thrive, and in turn, we can all benefit from their invaluable contributions to our society.
Here are some organizations working to unlock the full potential of young people, and a selection of the youth-serving programs they provide.
CBFY supports immigrant and refugee youth and their families with information about Canadian culture and Calgary’s school system.
Its staff help children and youth make friends through programs that grow their personal, social, and emotional skills while helping them settle into life in Canada.
With offices in the public Calgary Board of Education and Calgary Catholic School District reception centres, CBFY is also positioned to be a central point of contact for newcomers hoping to register children in school.
CFN has been a key resource for immigrants and refugees of all nationalities in Calgary since 1988. Its vision is to create a community that values diversity, and where people of all backgrounds have opportunities to fulfill their dreams and participate fully in our society.
The organization offers access to a wide variety of services for newcomer youth, including programs to support those who are considered at risk; gang intervention programs; vulnerable youth settlement programs; and mentorship programs.
FHL helps immigrant children and youth integrate into Canadian society and build community with activities throughout the year, including summer sports camps that introduce them to football and hockey.
Youth learn the basics of these two great Canadian sports before they are connected to their local sports associations with support from FHL, and benefit from being able to share the love and understanding of these games with their peers.
The program is designed to help children and youth between the ages of 8 and 16 build their confidence, communities, and self-worth.
Hull Services provides mental health services for children, youth, and families. It works with people who have experienced significant challenges and offers them opportunities to seek well-being and happiness, with a focus on mental health.
Although many of its youth-related services require a referral by a health-care professional, service, or agency, Hull has a directory of self-referral programs that are open to the public. These include Lasting Impressions, which works with families that have dependent children under the age of 18 whose parent is dealing with mental illness, and Hull’s Mental Health and Addiction Navigator, which helps youth and others with mental health and addiction concerns effectively navigate available resources and access support.
KidSport provides grants to help cover the costs of registration fees, as well as providing no-cost equipment so that all kids aged 18 and under in Calgary & Area can play a season of sport.
The Calgary & Area chapter accepts applications and administers grants of up to $500 per child annually. Interested clients can find out more on their website or connect with a Gateway Newcomer Planner to learn more.
A leader in developing youth talent by supporting young innovators, this charity has helped make STEM—that’s science, technology, engineering, and math—a passion for youth since 1990.
MindFuel supports students and teachers with STEM innovation, design thinking, entrepreneurialism, computational thinking, nanotechnology, robotics, synthetic biology, energy, and more.
PIA is an organization dedicated to promoting and sharing Francophone cultural events in Alberta, which offers a range of services and programs to meet the needs of the province’s Francophone community.
Through PIA, Francophone youth can connect to services including counselling and after-school programs that help kids in Grades 1-12 with homework, provide them with online tutoring, and promote physical activity and healthy eating.
PIA also offers access to the Maison des Jeunes Francophones, Alberta’s first Francophone youth centre and gathering place that has learning, training, volunteering, and employment services.
Ruth’s House seeks to break the cycle of abuse in the African community by offering programs like Youth Against Abuse where youth from the ages of 13-19 connect and talk about the prevention of abuse.
It provides tools for building resilience for youth who have experienced family violence and abuse, and counsellors work with them through games, mentorship, and conversation.
The youth discover ways to communicate; develop their own voices and value systems; rebuild trust and broken relationships with families; and can focus on building successful lives for themselves.
Trellis Society is an agency that offers social services to help people from different backgrounds find support, including housing, employment, and safe home environments.
Its programming includes Building Youth Connections, which addresses the developmental and settlement needs of newcomer youth.
Trellis offers cultural and recreational activities with positive adults and peers that promote building social networks; family events that promote togetherness and celebrate cultural diversity; employment-related services that include employment skills workshops; and more.