Promote positive choices, Help Inner City Youth Alive

Written by Laurie Mustard, courtesy of the Winnipeg Sun

If you think the city’s scary now, imagine what it’d be like without the good work being accomplished by places like Inner City Youth Alive (ICYA), whose recent fundraising banquet will help them offer even more positive options to kids who need all the support we can give them.

Laurie Kozak, ICYA’s director of development, described the event and details the challenges they could use some help with:

“Choices are hard to make even at the best of times. Sadly, for some, if it weren’t for bad choices, there’d be none at all. On Oct. 15, Inner City Youth Alive’s ‘Calling to Connect’ banquet highlighted the limitation of choices for many inner city youth and the difficulty of making good choices under the pressures in the community.

ICYA showed 365 people through pictures, words, art and dance that saying ‘no’ to street life is easier said than done.

Sylvia Kuzyk, the master of ceremonies, talked about her connections to the North End; Shezza, a Manitoba aboriginal singer-songwriter performed; Sara Thompson danced to her recorded story on bullying; Mathew Starr shared his life story and the impact ICYA had on his life, and there was a moving walk through the galleria. Anthony Maxwell and Chelsea McCallum received the Youth Excellence award.

The event raised a record $129,000 towards Inner City Youth Alive’s operations and the rebuilding of our drop-in centre, which was damaged two years ago due to arson. Our goal is to raise another $300,000 before year-end in order to have the new facility paid off at its grand opening.

Youth need options to stay out of gangs and at Inner City Youth Alive we provide positive choices for youth – a place to be loved, a place to belong, a purpose for living. You can help ICYA continue to provide positive alternatives by contributing to their building project by contacting ICYA at 582-8779 or going online to”

Thanks for bringing us up to speed, Laurie.

Folks, if you’re looking for a proactive, effective way to make a positive difference for inner city kids, thereby making our city a safer place to be for all concerned, Inner City Youth Alive is one of the best investment “choices” a Winnipegger can make.