Sign me up for updates. Sign up now

Donate Take Action
United Way Blog

Youth Opportunity: Investing in Canada’s Future

Youth are the future of our communities. However, many young people face barriers that could prevent them from achieving their dreams. Across Canada, United Way Centraide is giving youth the support they need to get a great start in life, do well in school, find gainful employment, and reach their full potential.

United Way Calgary and Area’s All in for Youth program is helping high school students graduate. Read the latest progress report about this work.

Education is the framework upon which success is built. All in for Youth is a citywide initiative founded by United Way Calgary and Area which aims to reduce high school dropout rates and encourage academic perseverance. All in for Youth works with schools, government, corporations, agencies and individuals to build a social and academic support system that helps youth graduate high school and achieve their personal, educational and professional goals. To date, 6,854 meaningful connections have been made between Calgary youth and positive adults through this program.

Positive early development and a strong support system are also solid predictors of future success. Unfortunately, youth from low income families often face barriers to accessing the tools they need to succeed. Centraide Laurentides' Children's Fund gives youth from disadvantaged families equal opportunities for development, providing things like school supplies, prescription glasses, sports equipment, and summer camp registration to those in need. Centraide has invested over $1 million in the Children's Fund, which has helped more than 13,800 youth since its inception. 

A place to sleep, be nurtured, and feel safe is a basic necessity for everyone. However, in Canada, 35,000 youth experience homeless over the course of a year. In response, United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington introduced a program to reduce youth homelessness by granting vulnerable youth a temporary supportive housing environment. The program features full-time staff who teach basic life skills, necessary for successful independent living once youth transition out of the program.


Learn more about Kingston Youth Shelter, a new transitional home that is helping youth access a supportive housing environment.

Financial instability can affect every aspect of a young person’s life. For those struggling to find work, breaking out of the cycle of poverty and reaching their full potential can be extremely difficult. United Way Toronto & York Region’s Career Navigator™ is preparing the community’s youth, especially those facing barriers in the existing employment-support system, for a job. To date, 529 youth have received coordinated education, training and support services to help them obtain valuable industry-recognized certification and transition into a meaningful career. 

Read Taniel’s story about how Career Navigator helped him find a meaningful job and financial stability after fleeing war-torn Syria.

By investing in opportunities for all of Canada’s youth to realize a better future, United Way Centraide is helping to improve our communities from the ground up.