Rock the Nation is a transformative 12-week youth program spearheaded by The Mustard Seed’s (TMS) community outreach team. The initiative takes place at TMS’ Community Impact Centres (CIC), community hubs that cater to the essential needs and support services for newcomers, lone-parent families, and individuals residing in some of Calgary’s low-income communities.
Funded by the City of Calgary’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), Rock the Nation serves as a gateway for youth to acquire new skills, forge meaningful connections, and evolve into emerging leaders within their communities. The structured 12-week curriculum is open to youth in grades seven through nine, while free drop-in events are available more broadly to youth in grades six through twelve.
Tyler, a member of the team at TMS’ Community Impact Centres, emphasizes the program's profound influence. "You never know the impact you can make. Through this program, we provide the space for youth to experience things they wouldn’t normally get [to]," affirms Tyler.
Rock the Nation’s free drop-in events provide local youth with an opportunity to visit our Community Impact Centres, indulge in snacks, and participate in pre-planned evening activities. The program addresses a gap in youth programming within underprivileged communities in Calgary, offering unique experiences such as access to STEM toys and involvement in events that would otherwise remain beyond their reach. Moreover, participants gain valuable insights into the importance of connections, building relationships, and developing leadership skills.
“[Rock the Nation] gives neighbours a chance to take care of their other neighbours- something that probably wouldn’t happen otherwise,” says Jamie, who works alongside Tyler at the Community Impact Centre.
The support provided by FCSS for The Mustard Seed’s youth programming ensures the continuity of our mission: making a positive impact on the lives of youth in our communities.