Phone: 1-800-361-0333 or Email: [email protected]

Change it Up



Change It Up!

A new 6 month training and skill development opportunity for

Multi-barriered Aboriginal youth in the Athabasca Tribal Council region.


Start Date: February, 2010

End Date: March 31, 2011


What is it?

Change It Up is a new approach to training and skills development. This full time, six month program encourages youth to become “agents of change” within their own community—making real-life community action projects the focus for learning.  Change It Up isn’t skills training, upgrading or more school.  It’s a hands-on way for youth to explore options, recognize their strengths and learn new skills by taking part in a community-building project that they choose, plan and carry out with the help of coaches and mentors.


Who is the program for and what are the entry requirements?

The program is for out of school, unemployed or underemployed Aboriginal youth (aged 15-30) who are looking for new options or aren’t sure what they want to do next.  There are no other formal requirements, but participants need to be ready for a change in their life and willing try something different.  Youth who have taken part in a Life Skills/Employability skills program would be great candidates for the program.

**If participants are coming from outside Janvier/Chard, they will need to be over 18 years old**


What kind of support will participants get?

If participants qualify, they will get a living allowance and/or dependant care. They may still qualify for the allowance if they are already getting Social Assistance and/or Employment benefits.  If youth are coming from outside Janvier/Chard they will also get help with travel expenses, and accommodation will be provided on site during the week.


How will participants get skills training?

Youth will build skills, experience and confidence by putting their ideas for community change into action through hands-on projects.  They will be mentored and coached the process. As they explore their interests and determine what they need to know to turn their projects into reality, they will also get individual help to learn the specific skills they need. 



What kind of skills will they learn?

All youth will be working on improving basic skills such as:

  • functional literacies in communication, math and technology 
  • emotional and social skills like self-regulation, priority setting, positive work ethic, common courtesy and manners
  • essential skills such as the ability to think, collaborate and make decisions
  • learning skills like knowing how to learn; understanding your own learning style; and knowing how to access learning opportunities and resources

The rest of the training opportunities will be based on individual needs and the kind of projects participants choose. Maybe they need to build math skills so they can create a budget or maybe they need to work on literacy levels so they can write a script for a radio ad.  Available training could include entrepreneurial skills or early childhood development—it will depend on personal goals and projects. If youth decide that high school equivalency or other certification is important, they will get help with that too.


What will participants do in the program?

The beginning will focus on exploring strengths and taking part in activities to build emotional and social skills.  Leaders and participants will work together to develop effective teamwork while building self awareness, appreciation of self and respect for others. The process will also help youth recognize their own ability to make changes in their lives and in their world.


Building on the self discovery and skill development activities underway, youth will then be encouraged to look outward to their community for ways to create positive change. Possible examples of projects might include: enhancing culture and traditional practices; violence reduction; elder involvement; improving parenting, understanding early childhood development; environmental improvement or business development. Participants will be coached in their projects by specially trained facilitators as well as by community mentors. Training opportunities will occur throughout the program as youth discover what they need to know to get their projects underway.


The final phase of the program will help youth recognize how their experiences and the skills they have learned could apply to the labor market. Participants will be mentored in creating individual five year plans for next-steps.


What will they leave with?

As youth gain new skills knowledge, contacts and experience, they will broaden life opportunities and improve employment options.  Specifically they will leave with:

  • A detailed plan for how to get where they want to go next
  • A “Ready to Go” certificate to demonstrate job readiness
  • References, contacts and a network of support
  • A resume and portfolio to show strengths and experience
  • New skills, abilities and real-life work experience
  • Confidence in their ability to make change in their life and their world


How can I help participants to apply?

Photocopy the application provided with this package and help potential participants fill it out.   The completed form needs to be faxed to 780-791-0946.  Applicants will be contacted for an interview.


Need more information?

The CIU program ended March 31, 2011