Who we Are
The Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op (CNYC) is a grassroots organization committed to providing a safe space for inner city and marginalized youth in Saskatoon. We focus on helping youth develop life and employment skills through hands-on programming and offer curriculum approved classes, taught by an accredited teacher, for students to earn high school credits. We promote the values of community, cooperation, sustainability, environmentalism, gratitude, accountability and leadership in an empowering and respectful atmosphere.
Each semester we work with upwards of 25 youth, most of whom come to CNYC on their own terms but we do receive referrals from outside agencies such as the Young Offenders Program. We do not screen the youth that approach us; we believe that all youth should be able to access a safe spaces to develop workplace skills and further their education. We give every and any youth interested a chance to participate in our programming.
Who We Serve
The youth who attend CNYC come from difficult circumstances, often unhealthy and unsafe living conditions, and are faced with ongoing challenges as they transition into adulthood. Without positive family and peer support, they have not been successful in the conventional education system and many have been involved with the criminal justice system. A majority of our participants are youth between the ages of 15-21 and vast majority of whom are Metis or Aboriginal.
- 90% of CNYC youth are Metis/Aboriginal
- 80% have been involved in the criminal justice system
- 100% have not been successful in a regular school program
- A majority of CNYC youth come from the core neighbourhoods
Moreover, many of the youth who come to CNYC are lacking the most basic life skills in areas such as nutrition, hygiene, health and parenting. Because of this, we try to make our programming scope broad and holistic, taking into consideration the whole person and the specific interests and needs of each youth.
We envision youth developing and implementing their own initiatives, which directly benefits themselves and their communities. By supporting sustainable youth enterprise, the CNYC will be where people representing a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences are able to come together, mentor and learn from each other, and build stronger communities. CNYC will also play an integral role in the development of Saskatoon’s core neighbourhood communities by engaging youth to be leaders in their community.
Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op (CNYC) was established in 1996 when Riversdale community members created a community-based organization that would work to address self-sufficiency, co-operative principles and environmentalism. The CNYC began as an opportunity for youth to engage in creative economic activities based on environmental principles.
Over the past decade the CNYC has evolved to a program that balances both education and skill-development. Each youth can work towards completing their high school education, receive training and certification in various fields and learn trade skills that they can use towards gaining employment in the community. Most importantly, this offers youth an opportunity to make money, increase their skill-set and develop confidence.