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Working with youth to discover their potential

In the Lead coach and young leader at one of the meet up events.

In the Lead is an innovative leadership development program for vulnerable youth in Calgary which was developed by Calgary Youth Justice Society in partnership with Cenovus. The program is designed to help participants transform characteristics that are often observed as deficits into leadership skills that can be applied in a healthy, productive way. In the Lead also provides our employees with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Calgary teens by helping them discover their potential.

Over the course of a school semester, students work through a leadership curriculum (worth three credits with Alberta Education) and are matched with a Cenovus employee who mentors them by focusing on their strengths. More than 200 students have benefitted from the life experiences our employees share with them, and the Cenovus employees involved in the program develop personal leadership and managerial skills that they can apply in their own life and work.

As a result of the program, 77 percent of youth participants surveyed said they were more engaged in their community, had more positive relationships with adults, and had increased self-esteem, cultural awareness and family support.

In addition to helping establish the In the Lead program, we’ve also provided resources to support the development and growth of the program so it can one day be available to other groups of vulnerable youth and in locations outside of Calgary.

What people are saying about In the Lead

“It’s hard to put into words what participating as a coach in In the Lead meant to me. Being a part of, and contributing to, my young leader’s personal exploration was more powerful than I could have anticipated. I was able to help him find his strengths and grow his confidence.”
--Cenovus In the Lead coach

“In the Lead taught me that people really care about me. I had an amazing experience. I have grown so much.”
--In the Lead student participant

“Students who complete In the Lead believe in themselves and have that rare but necessary commodity that will allow them to achieve their dreams - hope.”
--Bruce Sawdon, Principal, Discovering Choices High School

More about the program

  • In the Lead was developed by Calgary Youth Justice Society (CYJS) in partnership with Cenovus. Learn more about CYJS and In the Lead.
  • The In the Lead program is externally evaluated by Resiliency Initiatives using a developmental strengths framework 
  • To date, over 200 pairs of Cenovus volunteers and young leaders have participated in nine separate 16-week sessions

Alberta's Promise Partner

Cenovus has been recognized as an Alberta’s Promise Partner for our commitment to Alberta’s youth. The In the Lead program is an example of how we’re living up to the Five Promises of the organization, which include inspiring a passion for learning and skill development. Learn more about Alberta’s Promise.