Tag Archives: ymap

YMAP goes to Camp Chief Hector YMCA

Written by Jillian Harbour, YMAP Director, Community YMCA.

The YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP) had their annual trip to Camp Chief Hector YMCA. This year we traveled out to Kananaskis Country with an unprecedented 131 participants, 7 volunteers and 5 staff for a weekend filled with games, lots of laughs, new challenges and amazing people (and no snow!).

Between the always helpful Camp Chief Hector YMCA staff and the strong leadership Matt and Alisha provided the rest of the team, the weekend was a great success. My favourite moments of the weekend were the ever popular open mic night (I am always blown away by the amazing talents YMAP participants keep secret until camp!) and all the teamwork/encouragement I saw between the youth as they faced new and exciting challenges together.

This is often the first experience of its kind for the participants. These youth are new to Canada and seeing and experiencing the mountains and the Canadian outdoors for the first time.

YMAP CCH 2015 (2)

Getting Crafty!

Helping on the High Rope

Hike


YMCA YMAP Program Put Me On the Right Path

This story was originally posted in 2006. It’s such an inspiring story, we had to share it again.

YMAP group

I came face-to-face with my fear of heights on top of the ropes course at YMCA Camp Chief Hector. I could hear my friends cheering me on from the safety of the ground, a long, LONG way down. I slowly made my way across, terrified but exhilarated. There was just one thing I didn’t quite understand – how was trusting my life to some rope and a harness supposed to prepare me for the workforce?

My name is Milton, and this is my Y story.

In the winter of 1999 I was 17 and had just arrived from the Philippines, I went into the YMCA to ask about a gym membership. The woman I talked to realized that without a job and just adjusting to English, I wasn’t ready for a membership fee. Instead, she suggested YMAP, the YMCA Achievement Program. YMAP, she told me, would teach me leadership and job search skills and let me gain actual job experience through work placements. All that and free gym access. I was sold.

I started attending YMAP meetings where we learned how to set goals, write resumes and cover letters, and prepare for successful interviews. We learned public speaking, customer service and first aid. We learned leadership skills through, among other things, trips to YMCA Camp Chief Hector. I also developed great friendships, many of which I still have and cherish.

Then came the work placement. In the spring and summer of 2000 I began six weeks of job shadowing at RBC Royal Bank. I was placed with the customer service representatives (CSRs), and it was… very boring.

That’s when I learned my first lesson in being proactive. Instead of simply watching how the job was done, I soon took it upon myself to learn the routine. By the end of that summer I was fully trained as a CSR.

I left RBC to go back to school, but in December 2000 I had an offer to come back to work to cover some holidays. I wanted to accept, but at first I hesitated. My skills were rusty, I wasn’t very comfortable dealing with customers, and I wasn’t even that great at math! But then I remembered that day on the high ropes, and that with the right support and guidance I could achieve anything by stepping out of my comfort zone. I took the job.

Six years later, after working as a casual, then full-time CSR, then as personal banker, I am 25 years old and a relationship manager – one of the senior positions in the biggest bank in Canada. I’ve worked hard to get here, but it was YMAP that set me on the right path by teaching me skills, opening doors, and by letting me prove to myself what I was capable of. The best part is I’m just getting started.


Introducing new Northeast YMAP Coordinator

Meet Puja Suri, the newest member of the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP) Team.

Puja comes to the YMCA from The Calgary Bridge Foundation and brings much excitement and knowledge about working with youth. She has plans to bring new volunteer opportunities and experiences to the program participants enrolled in YMAP. Puja is excited to apply herself to various initiatives throughout the Y.

YMAP is a YMCA stay-in-school initiative for young newcomers to Canada, ages 15 to 20. Participants receive the skills they need to succeed at school, work and in their communities. YMAP participants are 20% more likely to graduate from high school than other youth in Alberta. There is no fee to participate in this program.

Visit Puja during the northeast YMAP program on Tues-Thurs in northeast schools.

 

 


YMAP comes together for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan

In multiple YMAP programs this month youth were concerned for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Haiyan is one of the deadliest Typhons on record – 13 million people have been affected and 4 million people are now homeless.  Many of our youth come from the Philippines and have family and friends still there.

As a team we decided that we needed to do something to help. YMAP youth were excited to have a chance to give back and raise money for the Red Cross. It is inspiring to see youth only a few weeks into a program feel comfortable not only sharing their concerns for global issues, but jumping at the chance to fund-raise for relief efforts. Fundraisers were held in Crowfoot YMCA, Saddletowne YMCA, and Shawnessy YMCA.

Those who donated were given a handmade pin made up of all of the colours in the Filipino flag. One of my proudest moments as a YMCA staff member was seeing youth new to program explaining why they were raising money for the Red Cross. Seeing small children walking with their families wearing pins was also a great sight to see.

As a program YMAP raised $767.83 for the Red Cross. We are thankful to all who donated and hope in a small way that we were able to help.

YMAP Northwest


“Landed in Calgary” – A chance for Young Newcomers to Share their Story

 

“Landed in Calgary” is a chance for young newcomers including international students, refugee youth, permanent residents, and second generation Canadians to share the story of how they came to Calgary.

We hear incredible stories everyday within YMAP. Each week 260 youth from over 50 countries come to our program. Each has a unique story to tell. Never before have we had the chance to record these stories and share them throughout Calgary.

Our youth will come together Saturdays throughout Winter to share, write, edit, and publish their stories under the direction of Calgary Public Library, YMAP Staff, and local writers. Their finished book will be available in Libraries throughout Calgary. The book will be published in both English and their native language.

“Landed in Calgary” would not have been possible without Carla Bitz, former YMAP SW Coordinator and current Outreach Director. She built a strong relationship with Jackie Flowers, the Outreach Librarian at Shawnessy. We are grateful for the strong relationships YMAP has built with Calgary Public Librarians throughout the city. Together great ideas like “Landed in Calgary” come to fruition and we find another way to serve the newcomer youth community.

Youth and Staff alike are ecstatic for “Landed in Calgary” to begin. If you are interested in being involved please contact Jamie Schiwy jamie.schiwy@calgary.ymca.ca.

The “Landed in Calgary” Library project is a Calgary Public Library initiative with support from the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP).


What’s up with YMAP Summer Explorer’s you ask!? Volunteering, volunteering, volunteering!

The YMAP Summer Explorer’s program of 18 immigrant high school youth has struck a balance of keeping students busy throughout the summer with valuable life experience. In July the students received financial assistance to complete a Summer School course.

Mustard Seed Street Clean-Up

In August the students are out and about all over the city volunteering and are learning in an experiential way about the City of Calgary and it’s many resources.

It is hard to believe that it is already mid-August, until I start looking back on the summer and remember the many places our group has been. In just 2 weeks we have cleaned lockers and floors at the Mustard Seed, sorted through donations and clothing at the Drop-In and Rehabilitation Center, served dinner for 80 at Inn from the Cold society, helped drop off bags for an Inter-Faith Food drive with the 3-6 year old kids at YMCA day camps in Saddletowne. . . . it has been a full 2 weeks indeed!

We still have more to come with the Mustard Seed, Inter-faith Food Drive, as well as a full week volunteering our time with Global Fest – a spectacular exhibition and festival of fireworks.

Some of the students in this program will be completing up to 50 hours volunteering over the course of 4 weeks! That old stereotype that high school youth may not care and sleep the summer away has been blown out of the water as this group of students is beyond committed to getting out of the house and contributing towards the greater community of Calgary in small ways. They learned from a staff member at the Drop-In Center how their organization would need to hire quite a few more full-time staff if they didn’t have the volunteers that they do every day. This caught the students by surprise and has set the tone for their attitude towards volunteering and its integral role for many organizations.

All in all this summer has been jam packed for the students with good laughs, lots of public transit, an expanded view of the City of Calgary and most importantly a deeper understanding of the important role volunteering plays in our communities. Way to go YMAP!


What’s up with YMAP Summer Explorer’s you ask!? Volunteering, volunteering, volunteering!

The YMAP Summer Explorer’s program of 18 immigrant high school youth has struck a balance of keeping students busy throughout the summer with valuable life experience. In July the students received financial assistance to complete a Summer School course.

Mustard Seed Street Clean-Up

In August the students are out and about all over the city volunteering and are learning in an experiential way about the City of Calgary and it’s many resources.

It is hard to believe that it is already mid-August, until I start looking back on the summer and remember the many places our group has been. In just 2 weeks we have cleaned lockers and floors at the Mustard Seed, sorted through donations and clothing at the Drop-In and Rehabilitation Center, served dinner for 80 at Inn from the Cold society, helped drop off bags for an Inter-Faith Food drive with the 3-6 year old kids at YMCA day camps in Saddletowne. . . . it has been a full 2 weeks indeed!

We still have more to come with the Mustard Seed, Inter-faith Food Drive, as well as a full week volunteering our time with Global Fest – a spectacular exhibition and festival of fireworks.

Some of the students in this program will be completing up to 50 hours volunteering over the course of 4 weeks! That old stereotype that high school youth may not care and sleep the summer away has been blown out of the water as this group of students is beyond committed to getting out of the house and contributing towards the greater community of Calgary in small ways. They learned from a staff member at the Drop-In Center how their organization would need to hire quite a few more full-time staff if they didn’t have the volunteers that they do every day. This caught the students by surprise and has set the tone for their attitude towards volunteering and its integral role for many organizations.

All in all this summer has been jam packed for the students with good laughs, lots of public transit, an expanded view of the City of Calgary and most importantly a deeper understanding of the important role volunteering plays in our communities. Way to go YMAP!


YMAP Summer Leaders Learn about Philanthropy

This year, the YMAP Summer Leaders group, funded by ATB, are learning about Philanthropy in our community.  In their 2 month project, the group has divided up in to 3 and have chosen to raise money for:

  • Alberta Flood Relief/Red Cross
  • Drop In Centre
  • Human Trafficking

Lana Dionne, GM, Financial Development, visited the group to talk about fundraising and gave them some ideas on how to raise awareness about their chosen charities, for their upcoming projects.


 


YMAP Participant Spreads Positive Messages

Charles has been an active participant of the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP) since his family moved from Nigeria several years ago. He will be graduating from YMAP as well as high school this year, and plans to study nursing in post-secondary. Charles is a diligent student, passionate chef, and active rugby player.

 Although he is responsible, reliable and always engaged at YMAP, Charles is a quiet individual who takes a little longer to get to know. I began to understand him on a deeper level when he attended the Western Canadian Leadership Conference at Camp Chief Hector this February. Although this was his first time seeing the Rocky Mountains, his excitement and appreciation for the outdoors seemed very natural. I watched him open up and gain a sense of confidence, which has continued to grow over the past months. Since then, I have gained a better understanding of his leadership style; Charles is one of those who may not speak often or loudly, but when he does he makes sure that what he has to say is meaningful and worth listening to.

This week at YMAP our group was working on a fundraising project and I noticed that Charles was writing something on the laptop, which was projected for the room to see. I was not only surprised and touched to read his thoughts about the group, but also blown away by how he expressed such a deep understanding of YMCA values in his poem. Without further ado, I will let Charles tell you the rest – please enjoy his wonderful piece of work!

AWESOME YMAPERS.

By: Charles Ibe

A COMMUNITY THAT IS DIFFERENT IN CULTURE AND LANGUAGE.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS DIFFERENT IN AGE, COLOUR, AND HEIGHT.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS DIFFERENT IN EVERYWAY YOU COULD IMAGINE.

A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU COULD TELL IT IS A FAMILY.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS UNITED IN EVERYWAY.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS SPECIAL IN EVERYWAY.

A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU CAN’T BREAK DOWN THINGS.

A COMMUNITY WHERE EVERYONE SMILES AND LAUGH.

A COMMUNIY WHERE WE ARE DIFFERENT IN NATURE.

A COMMUNITY WHERE WE ORGANIZE THINGS THAT COULD NEVER BE DONE.

A COMMUNITY WHERE ONCE SOMEONE IS DOWN, EVERONE IS THERE FOR THE PERSON.

A COMMUNITY WHERE EVERYONE IS INVOLVED.

A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU DON’T FEEL LEFT OUT OF THE GROUP.

AFTER A DAY OF YMAP, YOU GO HOME FEELING SPECIAL AND CONNECTED.


YMAP Participant Spreads Positive Messages

Charles has been an active participant of the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP) since his family moved from Nigeria several years ago. He will be graduating from YMAP as well as high school this year, and plans to study nursing in post-secondary. Charles is a diligent student, passionate chef, and active rugby player.

 Although he is responsible, reliable and always engaged at YMAP, Charles is a quiet individual who takes a little longer to get to know. I began to understand him on a deeper level when he attended the Western Canadian Leadership Conference at Camp Chief Hector this February. Although this was his first time seeing the Rocky Mountains, his excitement and appreciation for the outdoors seemed very natural. I watched him open up and gain a sense of confidence, which has continued to grow over the past months. Since then, I have gained a better understanding of his leadership style; Charles is one of those who may not speak often or loudly, but when he does he makes sure that what he has to say is meaningful and worth listening to.

This week at YMAP our group was working on a fundraising project and I noticed that Charles was writing something on the laptop, which was projected for the room to see. I was not only surprised and touched to read his thoughts about the group, but also blown away by how he expressed such a deep understanding of YMCA values in his poem. Without further ado, I will let Charles tell you the rest – please enjoy his wonderful piece of work!

AWESOME YMAPERS.

By: Charles Ibe

A COMMUNITY THAT IS DIFFERENT IN CULTURE AND LANGUAGE.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS DIFFERENT IN AGE, COLOUR, AND HEIGHT.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS DIFFERENT IN EVERYWAY YOU COULD IMAGINE.

A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU COULD TELL IT IS A FAMILY.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS UNITED IN EVERYWAY.

A COMMUNITY THAT IS SPECIAL IN EVERYWAY.

A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU CAN’T BREAK DOWN THINGS.

A COMMUNITY WHERE EVERYONE SMILES AND LAUGH.

A COMMUNIY WHERE WE ARE DIFFERENT IN NATURE.

A COMMUNITY WHERE WE ORGANIZE THINGS THAT COULD NEVER BE DONE.

A COMMUNITY WHERE ONCE SOMEONE IS DOWN, EVERONE IS THERE FOR THE PERSON.

A COMMUNITY WHERE EVERYONE IS INVOLVED.

A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU DON’T FEEL LEFT OUT OF THE GROUP.

AFTER A DAY OF YMAP, YOU GO HOME FEELING SPECIAL AND CONNECTED.


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