The Y offers a variety of youth and young adult support programs and leadership opportunities that help this demographic develop life skills, education enrichment, health and wellness, recreation and international awareness.
For younger job seekers (aged 15 to 30), we offer Bridging the Gap, a 20-week employment readiness program that enhances skills through practical training and a twelve-week work placement. Bridging the Gap has been proudly offered by the YMCA in Grande Prairie, Wood Buffalo, Edmonton and Red Deer regions.
YMCA Skatepark Mentors help strengthen the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility by providing a safe space for youth to enjoy Glendale Skatepark in Red Deer.
Everyone experiences worries and stress. Y Mind is here to help youth and young adults between 13–30 years of age throughout Alberta learn how to cope with stress so they can live their best lives.
Designed as an out-of-school intervention, YMCA Alternative Suspension establishes bonds of trust and creates a support network of groups of students that assists in addressing suspension and/or temporary expulsion issues while supporting a consistent and strong academic focus in Edmonton and Grande Prairie.
YMCA Community Action Network is an innovative national program that engages youth between 15-30 years of age across Canada to address community needs through service projects. Program participants have the opportunity to identify and execute a local service project that is meaningful to them.
Leaders in Training, also known as LIT, is a leadership program for youth in grades 7 to 12. In this ten-month program for youth, participants have fun, take part in team-building activities and participate in rewarding volunteer opportunities that teach leadership skills and benefit the local community.
This program runs during the school year with breaks during the holidays in the Edmonton Region at our Castle Downs Family YMCA, Jamie Platz Family YMCA and the William Lutsky Family YMCA.
Applications for the 2023–2024 program year are open! Once registered, a program staff member will connect with the applicant using your account contact information. Please note all interested youth must submit an application before their registration is finalized for this program.
The cost of this program is $100 per member.
For more information, contact our Y Experience team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit a YMCA Health and Wellness Centre.
Funding for the YMCA Leaders in Training program is generously provided by RBC.
The YMCA Mentors in Training program is an opportunity for youth to learn leadership skills, get volunteer experience and make new friends. Youth ages 12–18 will work with YMCA Senior Mentors and other youth in one-on-one and group settings to expand their professional and life skills.
Mentors in Training will help Senior Mentors run YMCA programs such as drop-in youth centre, skatepark program, teen nights, basketball, soccer, kitchen, art and science activities for members of their community. Being a Mentor in Training will give you:
- A way to learn important professional and leadership skills
- Connections with other youth and members of your community
- 100 hours of volunteer experience
- Flexible hours
- Further opportunities to get involved in the YMCA upon completion
Start your application and become a YMCA Mentor in Training today!
Youth Cannabis Awareness Program (YCAP) offers free programming to youth and adults involved in the lives of youth. This program aims to minimize risks associated with cannabis use by providing Canadians with the most accurate and unbiased information.
YMCA Youth Detour supports 12–17-year-olds who are involved with the justice system by providing one-to-one support, skill development workshops, peace-keeping circles and consistent support as they transition from incarceration back into the community.
The Y works with multiple agencies in the Youth Justice System that refer youth to the program, including Duke of Edinburgh, Edmonton Police Service, the Edmonton Young Offender Centre, Edmonton Youth Attendance Centre, RCMP and Youth Probation office.
- Ensure youth have the skills needed to address the underlying causes of their involvement in the youth justice system.
- Provide youth connections to community resources and support.
- Work to reduce the number of interactions youth have with the youth justice system.
YMCA Youth Detour receives its referrals primarily via the youth justice system. To learn more about this process, please contact the program supervisor at 825–333–6500.
YMCA Youth Diversion supports youth 12 years of age and older who are involved in low-level criminal activity by guiding youth through the restorative justice process in order to identify how their behaviour impacts others and help them see their future with a positive outlook.
The Y partners with Edmonton Police Service’s (EPS) DIVERSIONfirst program, Homeward Trust Edmonton and Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sister's of Edmonton & Area to intervene at a critical juncture of a youth’s life, build meaningful relationships with the youth and their family, and helps youth seek accountability for their actions and positively move forward.
Our program receives referrals from Edmonton Police Service’s DIVERSIONfirst program. To learn more about this process, please contact the program supervisor at 825–333–6500.
YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada (YEC) program provides youth aged 12 to 17 with the opportunity to explore Canada while learning leadership, communication, and teamwork skills, all while developing a strong sense of community.
Interested in running your own business? Youth for Entrepreneurship (Y4E) helps youth 15 to 24 years old discover practical ways to start their business journey, learn about business foundations through workshops and hear real-life stories from young business leaders!
Youth Transitions Program offers youth a safe, supportive, non-judgmental community to learn about available community services, meet new friends, participate in fun activities and find housing and job support.
Youth For Entrepreneurship (Y4E)
Interested in running your own business? Youth for Entrepreneurship (Y4E) helps youth between 15 to 24 years discover practical ways to start their business journey, learn about business foundations through workshops and hear real-life stories from young business leaders!