Here are some current success stories to show you the impact that the Calgary Police Foundation is having on youth every single day.
Christopher – YARD
The young person’s name was changed to Christopher to provide him with privacy and confidentiality.
Christopher was referred to YARD in January 2015 because of his negative peer associations at school. He was constantly getting into fights and causing problems.
Since being part of YARD the team provided him with a learner’s license book and after studying for about two weeks, his YARD team took him to write the test. He passed on his first try and was very proud of himself. Having a learner’s permit has allowed him to assist his family as his aunt has arthritis and struggles to drive. Christopher now gets lots of practice driving, helping to take his aunt out whenever she needs it.
Through the YARD program, Christopher connected with an employment counselor and he has developed a resume. Christopher is of Aboriginal descent and has also participated in several cultural specific activities such as going to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, a trail ride, drum making and learning a traditional song to perform at the CUAI Round Dance on December 12th, 2015.
Christopher says that he would likely never get these opportunities without YARD involvement so he is keen to participate in all the services we can provide while he is still part of the program.
His School Resource Office (SRO) recently commented that Christopher is doing so much better in school, no longer getting into fights, and has a better attitude. The SRO credited YARD’s involvement with him for this new attitude.
Simon – MASST
MASST began working with 12-year-old Simon in 2015. Simon was referred to the program due to extreme difficulties with regulating his emotions and being physically aggressive towards other peers at school and in the community. Simon was continually in the principal’s office due to these physical altercations. He had trouble controlling his anger and, as a result, would hurt his peers. Simon’s parents and teachers became most concerned after he seriously injured another peer and was threatened with police going to his house. The school was unsure of what other strategies to employ so the school submitted a referral to MASST.
During the case planning process, MASST discovered that Simon’s family dynamic and tension at home was very high as his sibling was going through a gender transformation. Mom was a stay-at-home mom and dad was the breadwinner in the family. The family struggled financially and was unable to pay for recreational activities or other expenses for Simon. Mom and dad also struggled with setting clear expectations for Simon and were unsure of how to handle his aggressive behaviour.
MASST worked effectively with the family, focusing on providing specific supports related to strengthening the family unit and providing an introduction to community-based resources. The family was directly connected to parenting support programming, as well as family therapy to improve communication and build healthier relationships. This proved to be an effective intervention.
MASST also focused on the goal of providing positive role modeling and mentoring for Simon. The team encouraged Simon to get involved with the volleyball team at school. Being on the school team has assisted Simon in increasing his self-esteem, controlling his aggressive/impulsive behaviour and building stronger social skills. The MASST team actively attended Simon’s volleyball games to show support and praised him for improving on a number of his skills.
Once Simon transitioned to Junior High School, the new school staff were surprised that Simon had been a former MASST program participant. They praised him and commented that he had become the best team player in class. They also noted that Simon had a high level of classroom participation, a positive attitude, and was a great student in class.
During the winter MASST closed Simon’s file successfully. His progress has been positive and he has improved his behaviour at school, in the community and amongst his peers. Simon’s family also appears stronger and have expressed sincere thanks to the MASST program.
Katrina – POWER PLAY
The mother of a program participant says, “I was very worried about the impression that my husband’s behavior would have on my son in his future life. At Power Play he gets to spend time with policemen who are big and strong, but who do not use their size and strength to bully others. I am grateful that my son is spending time with caring and compassionate men. They set a great example for him. In addition, he is learning to skate and handle a puck, which has made him feel so proud of himself.”
Roukaya – POWER PLAY
The mother of four Power Play participants says, “All four of my children have learned to skate at Power Play. I couldn’t teach them, because I never learned to skate in Lebanon. My youngest children ask me every day after school if today is the day we go to Power Play. Power Play day is their favourite day of the week. They love skating, but I think they love all of the volunteers even more, and they are so excited to see them every Wednesday.”
Boris – POWER PLAY
Program participant says, “I am happy to learn to play hockey. Wednesday is my favourite day of the week. I like all of the police. They are really nice.”