YouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre
Our Story Why We Exist
Quite simply, Tessa, a grade six student from Calgary, was a bully. More than a bully, she was a terror; her classmates were afraid of her. She intimidated her teachers. Even her mother didn’t know what to do with her. She was described as the most narcissistic 12 year old you could ever meet.
But despite being a bully, inside she was a lonely, isolated, and confused little girl. She didn’t understand why she didn’t have any friends, why her teachers avoided her, and why she couldn’t turn to her mother for help. There was no doubt Tessa was a bully, and there was no doubt she needed help.
Thankfully for Tessa, she was introduced to YouthLink. A place where Calgary’s youth have access to the resources they need to help them navigate life’s tough situations and help them make the right decisions.
At YouthLink, students are exposed to real life stories of bullies, their victims and bystanders. These stories come from Calgary schoolyards, classrooms, and sports fields and feature all types of bullying – physical, emotional and online bullying – and how YouthLink provided guidance, counsel and solutions to the youth involved.
We’ve all met someone like Tessa. Now there is a place in Calgary where students like her can learn to manage their bullying tendencies, deal directly with bullies, and teach bystanders how to respond when someone they know is being bullied.
That place is YouthLink.
Our Impact What We Do
For over 18 years, YouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre has been engaging and empowering our youth to make confident, positive decisions regarding some of the toughest issues they may face.
Substance Abuse, Online Safety, Bullying, Gangs, and Healthy Relationships are all issues that affect our youth in untold ways. Kids want to make good decisions, and no one grows up wanting to become a drug addict or a bully victim. YouthLink provides the straight facts at a time when our youth can best use the information to help make confident choices.
We impart tools, strategies, and resources through interactive exhibits at the Centre and engaging programming. Not only do our programs meet the learning objectives for the grade 6 Alberta Education curriculum, YouthLink also plays a significant role in the Calgary Police Service Crime Prevention and Reduction Continuum.
- MISSION: Together with the Calgary Police Service, YouthLink delivers relevant and captivating content, provoking youth to confront the issues of their time, make positive life choices and become responsible citizens in their communities.
- VISION: A safer community exists through the informed choices, empowerment and greater resilience of our youth. We invite you to explore this innovative learning Centre which is a leader in youth education and crime prevention.
- OUR RESULTS: Since 1997, YouthLink has engaged our City’s youth to enhance awareness of the risky and daunting realities they face every day – and provide them with the knowledge and tools to make confident and positive life choices.
- FLOOD IMPACT: The flood of June 21, 2013 wreaked havoc on our previous facility - we experienced 1,000,000 litres of water in this building - it took 10 hours to save everything. We rescued hundreds of artifacts and salvaged 75,000 images. Now, with 26,000 square feet - and double our program capacity - we're ready to put the spotlight on crime.
YouthLink Calgary ... keeping kids safe.
Our Programs How We Do It
Our Street Smart program for grade 6 classes will help educate kids about the key social issues that most affect them: Drugs, Bullying, Online Safety, Healthy Relationships, and Gangs.
Where's The Evidence is YouthLink's extremely popular forensic science program. Students put themselves in the shoes of a Calgary Police Service forensics officer, collecting and analysing various types of evidence to help solve one of our mock crime scenarios.
Police School is a brand new program that began in February 2016. Select grade 6 classes will be able to visit YouthLink for an entire week. In collaboration with the classroom teachers, a custom set of lessons for each class has been developed that follow the regular classroom activities with a special police focus. Students have a chance to interact closely with CPS units and officers.
YouthLink also offers a host of public programming including Forensic FUNdamentals on Saturdays, birthday parties and summer camps. Innovative adult programming is being developed. Please visit our website www.YouthLinkCalgary.com for more details on these programs.
Our Requests What You Can Do
In Street Smart areas, we focus on educating visitors to prevent future crime and victimization. There are five galleries to experience: 1) Healthy Relationships; 2) Online Safety; 3) Gangs; 4) Drugs and 5) Bullying. Each comes with its own special set of Calgary-based stories.
Sit in a prison cell and hear a convicted Gang member tell kids he wishes he'd made different choices. Walk through the hall of lockers in our Bullying gallery and see for yourself how real Calgary kids have been bullied, what they did, and where they are now. In Healthy Relationships, watch a series of powerful scenarios unfold and decide for yourself if they are healthy or unhealthy. Come to the Drugs exhibit and see what you would look like six months after trying crystal meth. Hear revealing stories of addiction from Calgary drug users, and the peer pressure they faced to try drugs for the first time. Check your own password in our Online Safety exhibit – are you as safe as you could be online?
YouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre is funded by the Calgary Police Foundation.
The Calgary Police Foundation is all about kids! We raise funds to support crime prevention and educational programs that keep kids safe through the Calgary Police Service. These programs would not exist without the funding provided by the Calgary Police Foundation.
An investment in the Calgary Police Foundation and its programs help ensure Calgary’s youth have access to help and guidance when they need it most, to leadership and positive role-models, and to structured activities with reliable oversight. CPF programs give our children and youth the tools to become strong, contributing members of our community.
Your support will ensure our community's youth are Aware Today and Safe Tomorrow.