25 Years Serving Edmonton’s Marginalized Youth

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Inner City High School opened with nine students in February 1993. That would make this our 25th year of offering an accredited arts and academic high school for Edmonton’s marginalized urban youth.  The organization has existed since 1986. First as the Inner City Drama Project, a Popular Theatre company creating projects for Edmonton’s high risk youth and other marginalized groups using Popular Theatre for education and projects of social justice.

In 1990 our name was changed to the Inner City Youth Development Association. In 1993 we added Inner City High School to our programming. 

  • The school has grown from nine students in 1993 to 150 in 2018. 
  • Our Youth Support Program has provided emergency supports, basic resources, counselling, housing, and developmental programming to thousands of Edmonton’s marginalized urban youth.
  • Our programs are driven and kept up to date by the youth we work with and a committed, dedicated staff.
  • In the process our budget has grown from $700 in 1986 to almost $3,000,000 in 2018.

Our growth and development is and has been built on the support of Edmonton’s philanthropic community, the City of Edmonton (FCSS), the federal and provincial governments and many private individuals.

Over the years there have been a few times when we could see the edge of a financial cliff. Individuals and groups who have come though at critical times to help us avoid the cliff face deserve special mention.

  • Lorna Thomas was there in 1986 and produced the documentary Beating the Streets about the work of the Inner City Youth Development Association
  • The City of Edmonton’s Family and Community Support Services have had our back since 1991. 
  • The Edmonton Community Foundation and the late Judy Padua of the Clifford E Lee Foundation collaborated to throw us a rope when we were close to the cliff edge.
  • Jackie Fiala for her traditional wisdom and consultation
  • The Carol and Ray Allen Family who were there at critical moments
  • Edmonton Catholic Schools (Ken Lesniak and Steve Bouska) were there when we needed them
  • Alberta Education, Inclusive Education have been instrumental in our ability to provide education and hope for Edmonton’s high risk and Indigenous youth
  • Krishan Joshee and family. Their unwavering support for peace education and social justice have been a solid support in our ability to provide programming to Edmonton’s marginalized urban youth
  • The Gandhi Foundation For World Peace
  • Native Counselling Services of Alberta for there long term partnership
  • Marliss Myer our school psychologist
  • Former Alberta Premier and Education Minister Dave Hancock 
  • The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation have been key in our growth since 2007
  • The members of our Board of Directors throughout those many years
  • Hok Nik Creative for their state of the art pro bono creative work over all those years
  • The many groups and individuals that I haven’t mentioned

And central to our growth has been the 28 years of tireless service by co-founder Alexina Dalgetty who will be leaving for Ontario at the end of this month.

Posted on February 1, 2018 .