Make Your Mark

The Cause

Make your Mark (MYM) is a community-based leadership development program that educates students (grades K-12) on poverty, the role of non-profits, and students’ agency as leaders. Teachers across the Alberta Capital Region educate students about need in community, the role of non-profits, and how students can become agents of change. MYM provides a conduit to: Encourage, Empower, and Inspire Future Changemakers Anyone, no matter their age or experience, can make a difference. And together, we are a force for positive change, uniting diverse voices and resources to create a transformative impact in our community. Enhancing the Alberta Curriculum of Study: MYM’s online curriculum and resources support teachers’ delivery of the Alberta curriculum of study by bolstering learnings around empathy, equity, community-building, project planning and management, and leadership. Hands-On Opportunity for Students: Through a student-led MYM project, students get a hands-on opportunity to learn about some of the intersecting challenges facing marginalized people, how students themselves can leverage their unique talents, and the power of working together to make a difference in the world. Grant Funding of up to $1,000 per project: United Way of the Alberta Capital Region provides guidance and funding for each MYM project to develop and execute student-led initiatives aimed at creating resilient, connected, thriving local communities where no one is left behind. Program Resources & Support to Ensure Project Success: MYM programming and resources support the success of both teachers and students in developing their classroom projects through in-person and virtual program orientation events, online curriculum and resources, digital workbooks, and support and guidance from United Way staff. United Way provides guidance and funding up to $1,000 to develop and execute student-led initiatives against poverty in the greater Edmonton community. MYM teams will have from October to February to develop and carry out their projects supported by workbooks and optional mentors from United Way. Following a kickoff event, teachers and student teams will identify a poverty-related issue they want to address. They will then work with United Way to further develop their project in alignment with approved grant funding.

Who Will it Benefit?

Students, as well as the present and the future community, all benefit from the Make Your Make on Poverty projects:

The local community benefits from the philanthropic projects of the students.

Students will have opportunities to develop their leadership, written and oral communication, multi-tasking, reading, and problem-solving skills. In the short-term, students will develop innovative project ideas to combat poverty locally. In the long term, students will be encouraged to increase their empathy and understanding of how local poverty impacts their classmates and neighbours. In the long-term, MYM will provide students of all ages with the support, tools, knowledge, and resources required to become strong community leaders and advocate for our most vulnerable neighbours living in poverty. The students are also empowered when they realize they can make a positive difference in their communities regardless of their current circumstances. This builds their self-esteem and confidence and perpetuates motivation through self-efficacy. Self-efficacy dives self-actualization, allowing them to reach their highest potential to give back to society.