Helping kids
build great futures

Youth HQ empowers youth by fostering a community of support. Our network seeks to instill young people with confidence in their unique identities and abilities, while providing safe environments to learn and grow.

Our primary objective is the healthy growth and development of every young person who comes through our doors. We aim to address the unique individual needs of youth in our community. Whether those needs are to develop social skills, life skills, work skills, or self-esteem, we work with each youth where they are at. This is done by applying a collective, unified approach to all our programs and services that inspires youth empowerment.

We are a non-profit governed by a volunteer board of directors, and our programs and services are designed and delivered by dedicated professionals. Engagement of caring community volunteers, partners and supporters helps us to accomplish our mandate. Without them, none of this would be possible. Thank you.

Vision: Children and youth discover and achieve their aspirations, and are healthy, successful and contribute to society.

Mission: Empower children and youth to develop confidence and skills for life through knowledge, healthy relationships and quality experiences.

Core Values: Fun, Family, Role Models, Advocacy, Excellence, Safety, Teamwork, Empowerment, Diversity, Authentic Relationships

How did we get here?

Big Brothers came to Red Deer in 1976, back when bell bottoms were cool and Facebook didn`t even exist. But, no matter the decade, as long as there are youth trying to find their way in this world, there are caring adults to guide and support them. Caring individuals and Kinsmen members supported by the United Way started the Big Brothers program, which soon became Big Brothers and Big Sisters in 1979. The founding board of directors was made up of:

Vic Douglas (Chair)

Don Ring

Peter Swainson

Eleanor and B.J. Billings

Florence Stephen

Rod Middlebrook

Ernie Cebuliak

Magie James

Adrianne White

Rita and Rich Ogilvie

Paul McGlone (Executive Director)

As time went on, the need to address the growing list of children waiting to have a mentor and to provide low cost accessible programs for children and youth was identified. Consequently, in 1983 the Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer & District joined Big Brothers and Sisters affiliation with the Youth and Volunteer Centre (YVC) of Red Deer. It was the strong belief in the positive impact a wilderness camp can have on a child that Camp Alexo was established in 1984. It is a special place for children and youth to grow, make life-long friends and discover their potential in a unique setting.

The 49th Street Youth Shelter was established in 1992 in response to a growing need to have a safe place for youth in crisis.

Over the years the programs have evolved and grown in response to identified needs within Red Deer and Central Alberta.

In light of where we`ve been, we celebrate our history and look to the future. YVC has become Youth HQ Children, youth, families, mentors, volunteers and community: This is your place. We invite you to become part of our legacy and help make a difference as we create our future.

1970s

Big Brothers was introduced to Red Deer and soon after expanded to include Big Sisters as the national organization grew in vision and inclusion. This agency was the first to pioneer youth centric programs in our community and laid the groundwork for the establishment of YVC in the following decade.

1980s

The 80s saw the addition of the Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer and District to the area, followed by Camp Alexo. Soon after the 'i's were dotted and the 't's crossed as both Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club were incorporated. YVC was created to oversee these programs and services.

1990s

Many new programs and fundraising events were brought to the various divisions and agencies within the reach of YVC. The 49th Street Youth Shelter was introduced, providing a much needed service for teens in troubling situations. Toward the end of the decade, a new building was constructed for YVC, giving it a permanent home in the heart of Red Deer.

2000s

Red Deer hit a growth spurt; the new millennium brought forth the Youth Employment Program and the expansion of the services offered via the Youth Shelter to better serve the increasing needs of the local population. It was in this era that the Margaret Bolze estate gift was donated to YVC, a standing testament to the legacy of one of our dearest supporters.

2010s

Twenty years after its establishment, the Youth Shelter received a significant upgrade. A new "Celebrity Dance Off" event took place in addition to the already popular annual fundraisers, Zed Haunted House and Bowl for Kids. YVC also went through a renovation, rebranding as Youth HQ, becoming a recognizable hub of youth centric programming in Central Alberta.