Inner City High School's focus on supporting youth education and youth health and wellness is a perfect complement to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation's (EOCF) mandate. In December 2010, the EOCF purchased the former Native Friendship Centre on 101 St to serve as Inner City High School's new home. This new facility accommodates 150 students marking a 125 per cent increase from the previous school building's capacity. Accredited by Alberta Learning, Inner City High School focuses on offering youth both an academic and arts-based alternative to a high school diploma.
This alternative high school supports Edmonton's inner-city youth with a stable and consistent path that goes beyond the classroom. Youth are given guidance regarding accommodation, counselling, nutrition and medical care. Its strong sense of community has created a safe haven offering many at-risk youth a solution and promising future. Through this initiative, the EOCF will help leave a lasting legacy for the City of Edmonton and its downtown core.
Helping youth achieve their full potential both academically and personally is a fundamental goal of Inner City High School and in some cases, the work will be nothing short of lifesaving.
"Without taking care of the students' lives, as a whole, we have no hope of giving them an education," said Inner City High School Director Dr. Joe Cloutier. "We are building bonds of trust by saying 'You don't have to worry about this anymore'."
Since relocating in January 2011, registration has increased and Inner City High School is close to maximum capacity. Actual attendance has also improved. In the 2015-16 program year, Inner City High School served 314 youth.
Students experience a top-quality learning environment in the new facility with amenities including: new counselling rooms, a brand new kitchen facility, science lab, cosmetology classroom, Elder's Room and four soundproof recording studios for students to explore their art and talent. These resources are instrumental in helping the students feel motivated and passionate in both academic and non-academic activities.
A testament to Inner City High School's care-focused mandate and the students' hard work, this initiative has the potential to transform lives by helping youth fulfill their personal aspirations.