YMCA Calgary > YMCA Alternative Suspension (ASP)

YMCA Alternative Suspension (ASP)



Alternative Suspension is an out-of-school intervention program that establishes bonds of trust and creates a support network for students who have been or are at risk of being suspended from school due to problematic behavior while also supporting a consistent and strong academic focus.


It aims to reduce future suspensions and disciplinary sanctions by offering participants an opportunity to turn their time away from school into a positive experience that encourages personal growth, the development of social skills and autonomy.


Students may be referred for any of the following concerns:
  • Absenteeism / lack of participation in classes
  • Apathy & lack of motivation
  • Issues Related to substance misuse
  • Disruptive & impulsive behavior
  • Physical, verbal or psychological violence
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Students struggling academically and needing an adult to guide them with time management and motivation
  • Student needing additional support to help them with their Mental Health needs


Learn more about Alternative Suspension here



Key Activities


  • Student referrals to the program are to be administered by the school
  • Individual assessment of participating youth
  • Personalized profile of participating youth drafted by a youth worker
  • Intervention sessions last an average of 5 days
  • Mornings entailing focus on academic achievement and afternoon sessions on thematic workshops aimed at reducing identified risk factors
  • Recreational activities
  • Reintegration of students back into the school/community and follow-up to determine the impact of the Alternative Suspension program
  • Regular communication with parents


Key Activities

  • Self-awareness of problematic behavior
  • Develop self-esteem and respect
  • Expand the network of social support
  • Decrease participant's associations with problematic peers
  • Decrease aggressive, impulsive, disruptive and antisocial behavior
  • Encourage academic aspirations and motivations
  • Increase school achievement and graduation rate

Contact Us:


Youth Engagement Manager:

Sonalin Bhayani


NW Youth Worker:

Vanessa Omeike


NE Youth Worker:

Tessa O’Byrne


South Youth Worker:

Scott Caithcart


The Alternative Suspension Program is generously supported by: