Make Your Mark

The Cause

Empower, inspire and encourage the next generation of philanthropic leaders in our community through our "Make Your Mark" school-based initiative engaging more than 20 schools in various poverty awareness projects. All K-12 students in the Alberta Capital Region will be invited to submit a unique proposal to be eligible for up to $1,000 of grant funding to complete a project during the 2018-2019 school year. The Make Your Mark Awards event in the spring of 2019 is a platform to celebrate ingenuity and leadership by allowing students to share their project and learn from their peers. The initiative is being championed by Sarah Chan, our 2018-2019 Campaign Co-Chair.

For the past two years, Sarah Chan has been engaging with students across the region, talking about community, poverty and how United Way is making a difference. Make your Mark on Poverty is a project-based program, a direct result of Sarah’s dedication to engaging youth, designed to motivate them and get more students involved in community solutions to help solve poverty.

This initiative is the perfect foundation to leverage Sarah’s ongoing involvement in schools with Edmonton and area youth and to let them know that we need and value their contributions to help find solutions to poverty.

For information about last year's inaugural Make Your Mark event, please visit

Who Will it Benefit?

Students from more than 20 schools from around the Alberta Capital Region, and our community as a whole from the creativity of the students designing projects to support positive change where we live. The impact that may stem from the ideas generated by this next generation of philanthropists and community-shapers may be the difference in someone's life in our community for years to come, and the students' ideas may open up opportunities we have not yet tapped into to tackle poverty in our community. The impact could also be wide and deep for the students, their teachers, their families and their peers as they go through the project development and sharing process.

Some examples of last year’s projects:
Projects included creating community gardens, packaging personal care kits for the homeless, setting up a pop-up street store for gently used clothing, and even creating a colouring book that was sold to raise funds for literacy. The projects were launched in honour of our local United Way’s 75th anniversary in 2016. Schools were eligible for grants of up to $2,500 for each project.

Prince Charles School – Backpacks for the Homeless
Queen Elizabeth School – Quality Education vs. Youth Homelessness
Rio Terrace School – Growing Food Can Help Fight Poverty
Spruce Avenue School – Spruce Avenue Community Garden
St. Francis of Assisi School – Stretching Our Food Power
St. Joseph School – Root Causes
St. Mark School – Pop-Up Poverty Awareness
St. Rose School – Yummtrition
Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary School – The Street Store and Good Coffee
Abbott Elementary and Lawton Jr. High School – Sock Hero Project
Austin O’Brien School – Youth as Gardeners - Containers to Communities
Bannerman School – Uniting Community
Bev Facey School – Facey Care Kits
Braemar School – Meals on a Budget
Brightview School – Kind Deeds for Those in Need
École Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d'Youville – It’s a Colourful Life
Greenfield School – Hope on Poverty
Louis St. Laurent School – Growing with Our Community – Youth as Gardeners
M.E. Lazerte School – Newcomer and Youth Support Program