Voice of Calgary youth heard through 2010 Youth VitalSigns Report

Get the grades on how city youth rated their quality of life

                             WEDNESDAY APRIL 28th
                                   10:30 AM
                         Crescent Heights High School
                           1019-1st St. NW Calgary
                             Refreshments served

CALGARY, April 26 /CNW/ - The Calgary Foundation and Youth Central are releasing the first ever 2010 Youth VitalSigns Report.

Inspired by The Calgary Foundation's VitalSigns Report, the Youth VitalSigns Report combines the opinions and perspectives of youth aged 12-24 with timely research to inform the public and private sectors, governments, youth funders and youth serving charitable organizations.

"We know youth have valid opinions, good ideas and a concern for the future of their communities." says Eva Friesen, President & CEO of The Calgary Foundation. "Engaging youth builds a strong sense of community. In fact, the report highlights that youth who reported being very connected to their community tended to give higher grades than youth who reported being less connected to their community."

"We believe that the youth in our city can, and should, have a voice in shaping our vibrant communities," said Penny Hume, Executive Director with Youth Central (formerly Child & Youth Friendly Calgary). "As contributing citizens and future leaders, our youth hold important knowledge and vision that can help create a city that truly is great for all Calgarians."

The Youth VitalSigns Report was funded through the generous support of the TELUS Calgary Community Board with a $20,000 donation.

"The mandate of the TELUS Calgary Community Board includes support of innovative youth projects in Calgary," said Ken King, Chair of the TELUS Calgary Community Board. "This initiative showcases the amazing things that can, and are, being accomplished by our future leaders. It has never been more vital to hear, and take to heart, what youth in Calgary are telling us about their city."

Not only did the youth grade their quality of life in 12 key issue areas from Employment & Training to Going Green, they also rated their top three concerns, and provided hundreds of comments - concerns, reasons to celebrate and suggestions for improvement that will be posted at thecalgaryfoundation.org and cyfc.ca websites.

A few of the many Vital facts from the 2010 Youth VitalSigns Report:

    -  Calgary has the lowest rate of youth cigarette smokers (grades 7-12)
       in Alberta, but the highest rate of youth who smoked cannabis in the
       past year.
    -  Calgary's Youth offences decreased by almost 25 per cent since 2005.
    -  In 2009, 29 per cent of Calgary's Grade 3 students were ESL students,
       compared to the provincial average of 13 per cent.
    -  In October 2009, the unemployment rate for Calgary's youth reached
       15.3 per cent - twice the rate of unemployed adults.

2010 Youth VitalSigns Report will be available at

www.youthvitalsignscalgary.ca on April 28th

The Calgary Foundation (TCF) - Established in 1955, TCF facilitates collaborative philanthropy by making powerful connections between donors and community organizations for the long term benefit of Calgary and surrounding area. In 2008-2009, The Calgary Foundation saw $25 million in new contributions, had an asset base of $274 million and granted $22 million to 655 charitable organizations.

Youth Central (formerly Child and Youth Friendly Calgary) aims to inspire, engage and celebrate youth through community participation. This vision is based on the firm belief that young people who experience involvement and philanthropy at an early age grow up with an ongoing sense of responsibility to their community. Youth Central believes that all youth should participate in shaping a vibrant community.

The TELUS Calgary Community Board is comprised of community leaders and TELUS team members who come together to make local funding decisions and seek out charitable partners - an approach to corporate philanthropy unique in Canada - ensuring the decision-making remains within the community. Since 2005, the TELUS Calgary Community Board has donated $2.8 million in support of 181 individual projects run by not-for-profit organizations, 32 projects were funded in 2009. The TELUS Calgary Community Board will allocate $500,000 to charitable and non-profit groups in the city this year. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company ever to receive this prestigious international recognition.

SOURCE The Calgary Foundation

For further information: For further information: Janice Francey, The Calgary Foundation, W (403) 802-7708, C (403) 617-1998, jfrancey@thecalgaryfoundation.org, www.thecalgaryfoundation.org

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