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"THE YOUTH OF TODAY ARE THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW" - NELSON MANDELA

Research shows that engaging youth and their families in school leads to better student performance. The year-round Gashan Youth Leadership Academy, one of the main programs undertaken by The Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton, provides junior high and high school students with an after-school program that teaches them skills needed to succeed in school and college; leadership development; cultural and physical activities; test preparation and academic support; digital literacy; and college and career exploration through field trips, career days and mentorships. Parent involvement is a critical component of this initiative.

WE HELP SOMALI CANADIAN YOUTH FIND THEIR WAY IN THE WORLD.

OUR OBJECTIVE

  • To serve all Canadians regardless of background.
  • To work with Somali Canadians to help and stabilize community life within Canada.
  • To serve and provide settlement and integration services to newcomers and immigrants from Somalia and to establish a new life that is founded on the dignity of economic self-support and encompasses full participation in opportunities which Canadians enjoy.
  • To promote and provide leadership and educational training for the younger generation to help them become better citizens of Canada.
  • To inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, sports, nutrition and innovation within Canada.
  • Build facilities for a successful learning and recreational environment.
  • To reach out at risk youth and help them become leaders within their Canadian communities and provide positive values, and life and job skills training that will change their lives and give them hope and opportunity for a new future..
  • To provide a highly disciplined, safe, and professional learning environment that empowers the youth and Provides after school programs to help increase graduation rate
  • To work collaboratively with other service providers to make a difference in developing the community and the society;
  • To unite the communities by creating a socially cohesive environment under the roof of a “Community Centre”.
  • To assist the Somali Canadians in the city of Edmonton and vicinity to have an effective voice in the organizations, institutions and issues that affect their lives.
  • To advocate on issues of concern to the Somali Canadians in the city of Edmonton, the province and at the federal level.
  • To build positive relationship with public and private institutions to enhance services to respond to the needs and competencies of the Somali Canadians in Edmonton and vicinity.
  • To promote dialogue and understanding among the Somali Canadian people in the city of Edmonton, Province and within Canada.
  • To promote and maintain Somali culture, within the Canadian society.
  • To own, operate and maintain buildings and properties for the sole use of the community

MISSION

  • To inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, sports, nutrition and innovation.
  • Build facilities for a successful learning and recreational environment.
  • Reach out at risk youth and help them become leaders within their community.
  • To provide a highly disciplined, safe, and professional learning environment that empowers the youth.
  • to provide the youth a quality education, positive values, and life and job skills training that will change their lives and give them hope and opportunity for a new future.
  • Hel the youth stay away from the negative aspects of society and instead allow them to become positive role models in the community.
  • To provide a customized in-house mentoring / training programs as well as social support programming tailored to the needs of ethno-cultural and Somali Canadian at risk youths and their parents in partnership with the University of Alberta.
  • to provide a highly disciplined, safe, and professional learning environment that empowers ethno-cultural/Somali youth to improve their educational levels, employment potential and become responsible and productive citizens within Edmonton.
  • Provide leadership through sports, community engagement and nutrition your body needs

HISTORY

Founded in 2001, the Vision Youth Leadership Program was developed to complement the regular school academic curriculum to help our youth to develop life skills, which will prepare them for a successful and rewarding future. We encourage civic participation and the continuous development of physical, social, and leadership skills through a holistic training approach.

Our Vision

To motivate and empower the Ethno-cultural Canadian youth to make a positive difference within our society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership.

We envision a world in which all Canadian youth can pursue a quality leadership training that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.

The vision of the Academy is to provide the youth with quality education, positive values, life and job skills training that will change their environments and give them hope and opportunity for a new future. Through discussion, activities, and self-assessment, GYLA seeks to strengthen and encourage the youth of today to become great leaders of tomorrow.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

The Gashan Youth Leadership Program is a multifaceted and progressive training program. It is made up of 3 levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The progression gives opportunities to the participants to explore a multitude of topics and ideas so that they can develop their own vision, cultivate the passion and confidence to pursue their dreams and be successful.

The program takes place throughout the school year as well as during the summer so that students don’t lose knowledge during the critical summer months and so that graduating eighth graders have a smooth transition to high school. The program features classes in a variety of subjects, such as language arts, social studies and science; enrichment opportunities; and physical education activities

A key component of the Gashan Youth Leadership Academy is parent engagement. We work closely with parents so they are more involved in their children’s education and empowered to advocate for matters that affect them. The program will have a Parent Advisory Committee that meets regularly and provides feedback to the Gashan Youth Leadership Academy staff. Committee participants also attend workshops, tour their child’s school, go on field trips to colleges and participate in the annual Gashan Youth Leadership Conference.

The Academy was formed to encourage the growth, education, training, and motivation of future leaders to meet the challenges of development and expansion in Edmonton in the coming decades.

University of Alberta Connection to Gashan Youth Leadership Academy (GYLA)

The program is designed with the help of Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research (CGCER).

CGCER is also composed of a group of faculty members, graduate, and undergraduate students interested in furthering their understandings of global education by impacting education curriculum and pedagogy. The team works on various projects, academic presentations and awareness issues throughout the academic year. Building on the unique interests and backgrounds of the team members, our efforts are directed towards developing understandings of the role of education for local and global awareness of peace, equality, equity, human rights, social justice and environmental justice.

2,000

GRADUATES

150

STUDENTS PER YEAR

25

TEAM MEMBERS

15

ESTABLISHED IN 2001

THE GASHAN TEAM

Dr. Lynette Shultz, PhD

Associate Dean, International Faculty of Education & Co-Director, Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research, University of Alberta
(780) 441-9878

Mr. Jibril Ibrahim

President, Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton
(780) 441-9878

Dr. Anna Kirova, PhD

Professor of Early Childhood Education & Co-Director, Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research, University of Alberta
(780) 441-9878

Ms. Mirande Alexandre

Executive Director, Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton
(780) 441-9878
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