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Overview

Unity offers free programming to youth in underserved neighbourhoods in communities across Canada including Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Northern Alberta and British Columbia. These programs are offered in schools and community spaces.

The Healing

Power

Of Sharing Your

Story

Educate

Integrates elements of Character Education, Equity and other school board priorities

Express

Teach youth to express their stress and anger through productive artistic outlets

Relate

Integrates Unity Artists’ personal stories to relate directly with youth issues

INSPIRE PROGRAMS
Unity Day Assembly, Unity Festival, Unity Bookings, and Alumni Program

Refers to our signature Unity Day Program (National), Unity Festival (Annual, Toronto), Alumni Program, and Bookings Department. Through Unity’s INSPIRE Programs, youth gain more ways to express their stress, awareness of Unity’s other programs, appreciation of the power of community and awareness of mental health and well-being resources available to them.

ENGAGE PROGRAMS
After School & Community Programs

Refers to our high impact weekly initiatives, namely the Unity After-School Program and the Unity Community Program. Through these programs, at least 50% of youth participants improve mental health and well-being outcomes through stronger protective factors. Youth are given significant roles in mentorship, performance, evaluation, and volunteering so they may contribute to the well-being of their communities.

EVALUATION
Approach, Reports and Methods

Unity applies a learning approach to evaluation where our ultimate goal is to measure changes over time through consistent monitoring, analysis, reporting and exact revisions in curricula, training, and strategic direction based on feedback. Evaluations allow us to demonstrate impact on and for program participants, funders, community partners, to inform curriculum development, revision, delivery, to inform staff training, and ultimately – to tell our story. Unity has an Evaluations Committee comprised of experts in youth mental health work and program evaluation from the YMCA, Stella’s Place, and the University Health Network (UHN). These individuals work closely with Unity’s programs and administrative staff to guide and refine Unity’s approach.

 

Throughout 2016-17, Unity hired consultant Matthew Hughsam (Grand Challenges Canada) to review Unity’s program curricula, interview over 90 program youth, and review over 30 validated mental health, well-being and resilience measures along with consultations from 19 research and evaluation experts to inform the development of Unity’s evaluation methods. Unity administers a voluntary post-program feedback survey to all youth participants in programs to gain insight into their thoughts, feelings, and needs. Our surveys include a scientifically validated tool that measures resilience in conjunction with Unity’s Protective Factor Survey that provides insight into various external and individual protective factors that impact youth. Through 2017-19, Unity has successfully implemented these methods and is using its learnings to revise programs and evaluations practices for 2020 and beyond!