“The kids feel it. They KNOW that somebody cares.”

After-school programs give kids a sense of belonging, a family away from home.

Getting homework done, making friends, learning to cook, feeling cared about, knowing your neighbourhood. It’s the small securities that build kid’s confidence and so they can grow up strong.

 

Mentors make a big difference. Just ask Dr. #1.

Norm McLean—or should we say Dr. Norm McLean—graduated today from the Faculty of Medicine at U of M.

We couldn’t be more proud!

The University of Manitoba's School of Medicine graduating class of 2012.

And there go the hats! Photo courtesy of the University of Manitoba, um_medicine Twitter feed.

Mentored at United Way agency partner’s West Broadway Youth Outreach Homework Club program, Norm was the child of a single parent, growing up in a neighbourhood troubled by gangs, violence and drugs. He found West Broadway to be “a great influence in my life growing up and a great support to my mother as well. It was a positive influence in my athletics, my academics, and everything as I went through school.”

When he got too old for the after-school program, he joined West Broadway as a junior volunteer and became a role model himself for kids, teaching them the importance of getting good grades and staying in school.

Today that dedication paid off, as Norm graduated with the Class of 2012. He credits West Broadway co-director and mentor Ken Opaleke for much of his own success in school and life.

2011 Youth Day of Caring sees over 120 volunteers working towards a better Winnipeg.

More than 120 students from 13 local high schools showed their commitment and community pride by participating in United Way of Winnipeg’s 6th annual Youth Day of Caring on Friday, May 20, 2011.

Working alongside staff and volunteers from 6 neighbourhood agencies, students spent the day picking up litter, painting, gardening, cleaning and organizing – whatever they could to support non-profit organizations that support Winnipeggers.

Youth Day of Caring volunteers making the community a better place for everyone.

The day began at 8:30 am with a Welcome Breakfast at Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, followed by a group warm-up led by Yoga North‘s Drew Perry. Students then went to work at non-profit agencies in the neighbourhood including: Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, West Broadway Youth Outreach, West Broadway Development Corp., West Broadway Biz, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the John Howard Society.

Volunteers were entertained by the amazing talent of Broadway Neighbourhood Centre’s Hip Hop Academy while they enjoyed a delicious pizza lunch courtesy of Santa Lucia. At the end of the day, after completing a few more projects, everyone returned to Broadway Neighbourhood Centre for an apple toss prize give-away hosted by HOT 103 morning personality LTI.

Every year, hundreds of youth throughout Winnipeg make significant contributions to our community through United Way. As volunteers, participants and leaders, their energy and enthusiasm is shaping a brighter future for everyone as they set an example for all to follow. Thank you!

A special thank you to sponsors: Santa Lucia Pizza, High Road Commercial Cleaning Inc, and Yoga North for your support in making the Youth Day of Caring a huge success!