Sanitation Crime Fighters
Artist(s):Killian Halney, Brandon Anderson, Kiara Marusz, Angela Chen, Alex Muir, Michelle McDonald
Organization: Antyx Community Arts
The Step-Up group is a great example of collaboration among city departments & Antyx Community Arts that leads to positive impacts for citizens as most of the youth come to the group after being referred by the Gateway Program. The Gateway program, which is a joint initiative of the Calgary Police Service, Youth Probation Services and Community and Neighbourhood Services, is a pre-charge diversion program for youth who have committed minor, non-violent offences, and who accept responsibility for their actions. The Step-Up Youth group meets weekly to talk about things that they would like to change in their community, city or world. Facilitators from CNS South Area, Boys and Girls Club and Antyx Community Arts support the youth in developing leadership skills and to create projects that allow them to make a difference in their communities.
Step-Up youth have completed several projects since the program started; the most recent project was a video entitled "Sanitation Crime Fighters". The video, that was written, directed, filmed and edited by the youth raises awareness about sanitation in developing countries. In November, 2012 members of Step-Up presented their video at the annual Youth Summit hosted by the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) based in Calgary. Many of the youth that currently attend the group finished their required hours months ago and continue to be active participants. The youth have demonstrated their capacity to be community leaders and have shown their commitment to making a difference. When asked why he continues to attend the group, one youth replied, "Because I matter here".