Transitioning at Crystal Kids

The Cause

The period of adolescences (Erik Erikson's stage five) development begins as early as ten years old and lasts past age eighteen is a period of immense importance. It is during this period that the youth develops their own sense of identity. The youth's development as an individual now depends on what they do as opposed to what others do for them. The purpose of this new program is to enable an environment, both centre based and outreach based through which we can engage with at risk young people within our community here on 118th Ave. Many of our youth face challenges and limitations due to generational poverty cycles and risk factors associated such as low educational attainment, exposure to street gangs, the sex trade and the risk of addiction issues in adulthood, These severely limit the opportunities and experiences our young people are exposed to. This lack of opportunity narrows the young person’s field of vision in relation to their future and capabilities.
Through our new mentorship program, we will identify and engage at risk youth in a partnership using a strength based approach. This partnership will be driven by their interests and goals while also enabling the youth to be introduced to new experiences, Young people who are engaged in such partnerships see numerous benefits: improved competencies, increased self esteem, strengthening of existing skills develop leadership skills, greater knowledge and an increased understanding of the broad spectrum of career available to them.
These new experiences will be purposeful and designed to broaden the young person expectations for the future and introduce them to new areas of interest.

Who Will it Benefit?

Adolescences attending Crystal Kids reside in the Eastwood, Delton, Parkdale, Sprucewood, McCauley, Alberta Avenue, Newton, Montrose, Highlands, Beverly, and Abbotsfield communities of Edmonton. Youth also come from as far away as Ft. Road, Londonderry, Clairview, and Castledowns neighborhoods. Our youth are some of the most disadvantaged children in Edmonton. City statistics show that the inner city communities we serve have some of Edmonton's lowest family incomes (some earning as little as $9,000.00 per year total family income), highest proportion of rental dwellings (most of which are occupied by single parent families) and the highest incidences of reported crimes and family violence in the entire city. Sadly this is the very definition of poverty.
As alarming as these community statistics are, the statistics for our kids are just as grim. Staff observe 90% of our adolescences suffer from neglect at home. An alarming 70% of our youth have been exposed to family violence either as the witness to, as the victim of, or as the perpetrator. For all of our children and their families or caregivers, the security of basic human needs - food, clothing, and shelter is a daily risk.
In many cases our adolescences live without any healthy adult role models and lack the resources to engage in any healthy activities.