Cornerstone Youth Center – Youth Center Program Enhancement and Support

The Cause

We believe that kids who are raised in an enriching environment, with social and academic support, good guidance, safety, healthy food and opportunity to do creative and interesting things are the heartwood of our society. In its 10th year, Cornerstone is an organization that recognizes that some kids don’t have those opportunities. We help level the playing field by providing free, grassroots, accessible, daily programming to vulnerable kids, so that they can grow up with pride and self-assurance: \"I can do anything if I persevere\". We consider opportunities for org. growth, have experienced a 50 percent increase in attendance in 2015, yet we seek firstly to continue to provide excellence in programming to all youth who run through our doors.
• Is a safe, happy and inspiring after school drop in centre for youth (grades 6-9), providing a safe and nurturant environment after school during the “risk” hours of 3-6pm daily. Located in Calgary’s vulnerable North East, have been in operation for 10 years, giving .
• The opportunity for positive influence and change with programs including: homework help, peer mentoring, music studio, arts and crafts, informational and educational speakers, movie and discussion, games, sports and daily healthy hot meals, all provided by volunteers and college educated youth worker staff, the City of Calgary \"Youth Rock\" art programs
• Serves nutritious, daily hot meals to every child who attends the center (with the help of the Soup Sisters kitchen and other donor groups)
• Engages the young imagination about their potential through the “When I Grow Up” program

We have the support of the Prosser Foundation (matching $65K) and the Province ($38 for capital), Boardwalk Properties ($10K food) and need financial support to continue to build our program and reach more youth rather than turning them away because of capacity issues.

Who Will it Benefit?

There are 3 levels of beneficiaries of the positive impact of the Cornerstone Youth program.
1. Investment in our program resources will have an impact on each of the 130 registered youth in the program. With well-supplied sports, music, homework, art and mentoring programs, we will be able to meet their activity needs. Our numbers are growing with the economic downturn. All live in vulnerable circumstances and Cornerstone acts as a refuge for many. No child is turned away. We believe that the Cornerstone experience increases self-esteem, academic and social achievement through the support that they receive and the experience of success in music , art, school help that keeps them busy and out of trouble.
2. Secondly, the local community benefits from the program because we are able to keep youth safe and out of harm. We are strongly supported by several outside agencies and organizations, such as the City of Calgary, our local High School, Aspen Family Services and local businesses.
3. Thirdly, the
a) Families benefit from the knowledge that their youth are busy and safe while parents are working or otherwise absent.
b) Volunteers, peer mentors and speakers in our “When I Grow Up” program benefit from exposure to the rewards of volunteerism.
c) Future generations benefit from the health and well-being of the next generation of healthy parents.
d) The economy benefits from the reduction in costs to the social welfare system. It’s been shown that a $15,000 investment in good after school care for vulnerable youth in junior high results in a $85,000 savings to the criminal justice system in adulthood.
e) Society as a whole benefits of added productivity that the well-supported individual can contribute.