Championing youth growth through online mentorship programs
In Edmonton’s inner city, youth are able to benefit from the Crystal Kids organization’s support and mentoring system. Crystal Kids supports youth ages 6-21 living in abject poverty with programming and resources, including healthy meals, that help set them up for future success. Through robust programming, Crystal Kids’ team of 15 dedicated staff and volunteers emphasizes the importance of education to help youth escape from poverty. Its programs also provide personalized support and assistance with basic daily needs.
“Through relational care and trauma informed care, we’re able to provide critical mentoring, literacy interventions, life skills competencies and wellness support."
“No matter how many times we kids stumble, they are there to pick us up, dust us off and steady us,“ says Angel, a Crystal Kids program participant. “They love us and encourage us even if we make bad choices. That is mentoring at its best. That’s real love. That’s Crystal Kids.”
Through a $20,000 grant from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, Crystal Kids has been able to continue to ensure that youth and their families have the means to help them strive for stronger and healthier futures. From delivering food hampers to homes with the support of TELUS volunteers to distributing hampers safely at its brick and mortar location, Crystal Kids is there to help Edmonton’s most vulnerable.
Understanding that food security was at an all-time high due to the health crisis, the organization was able to ensure that the youth who used its services at least knew there would be food on their tables.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Crystal Kids shifted its mentoring and educational support programs online. Understanding that food security was at an all-time high due to the health crisis, the organization was able to ensure that the youth who used its services at least knew there would be food on their tables. Additionally, by pivoting to online learning, the team at Crystal Kids was able to set up a support model that will continue to operate effectively as restrictions are lifted, enabling further reach within the community.
“Thanks to funding provided by the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation we are able to provide nutrition and services to children, says Crystal Kids Executive director Miri Peterson. “Through relational care and trauma informed care, we’re able to provide critical mentoring, literacy interventions, life skills competencies and wellness support. Crystal Kids is all about creating and nurturing authentic relationships with hundreds of at-risk youth experiencing generational poverty.”
What’s next for the at-risk youth of Edmonton?
As Edmonton’s youth navigate the new normal, they know they have support from Crystal Kids and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, which continues to invest in youth development through technology and health programs, ensuring brighter futures filled with opportunity.
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