High school graduation rates for Aboriginal youth has historically been low.
A new project called Circle of Supports hopes to change that.
The project, which is an initiative of the United Way of Calgary and Area, aims to strengthen school engagement of Aboriginal youth – including First Nations, Métis, Inuit and those who self-identify as Aboriginal – by wrapping supports around them with the overall goal of increasing graduation rates.
“Circle of Supports (COS) assists 36 Aboriginal youth to be more successful in school by offering them holistic supports,” says Tim Fox, Manager of Aboriginal Initiatives for BGCC.
The goal of COS is not only to engage the students with their schools, but to increase their family’s involvement, as well.
“This demonstration project also includes a strong evaluation component that will document the process and measure the success of the program throughout the project,” says Tim.
The project is a collaborative effort between three agencies: Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY), Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary (BGCC) and YMCA Calgary with funding provided by Upstart, a United Way of Calgary and Area initiative. The program is staffed by a Manager and three Connectors who work closely with the youth, their families, their schools and multiple additional supports necessary to provide the
wrap-around, holistic and individualized help needed to reach the goal of graduation.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary has a long history of working closely with the Aboriginal community in providing specific programming for First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) children and youth.
BGCC Aboriginal programs, in collaboration with other agencies provide hands-on cultural experiences, elder involvement, health and wellness activities, traditional arts programs and youth mentorship.