Programs and Services



Skills. Resilience. Awareness. Connection.

GirlSpace® is an after-school program for teen girls designed to: 

  • Build skills, including leadership, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking.
  • Foster resilience, autonomy, social connectedness, self-awareness, and self-esteem.
  • Increase awareness of key social issues and provide a space to talk, listen, and share strategies and resources for coping and overcoming them.
  • Encourage collaboration with other girls to develop a gender-specific space in which everyone is respected and feels welcome.
A cropped shot of four laughing girls sitting outdoorshttp://

The difference GirlSpace® makes

Unique from their male counterparts, girls face high rates of sexual violence and a significant decline in mental health as they enter adolescence and young adulthood. GirlSpace® provides participants with tools and resources to cope with these challenges, while increasing their self-esteem and confidence.

GirlSpace® is generously supported by:

  • Canadian Western Bank
  • Joyce Foundation
  • Stollery Charitable Foundation

Support YWCA’s programs and learn how to   

Change a girl’s perspective

of girls in Grade 6 say they are self-confident.
of girls in Grade 10 say they are self-confident.

How it works

Each week, participants come together as a group to learn about a topic focused on the specific needs and experiences of girls and young women in Canada. Young women act as both group facilitators and role models, involving the participants in the design of each session.

Topics covered include:

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Bullying & Harassment
  • Influence of the Media
  • Self-Esteem
  • Body Image
  • Digital & Online Safety
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health & Nutrition
  • Ethnic & Multicultural Awareness
  • Healthy Decision-Making
  • Violence Against Women –Sexual Assault & Consent
  • Substance Use & Addictions
  • Sexual Health
  • Sexuality & Gender Identity

For older participants only:

  • Career Development & Professional Skills
  • Financial Matters
  • Leadership Skills & Community Engagement
  • Civic Engagement & Advocacy

Program details

Who can participate

GirlSpace® is open to anyone who identifies as a girl between the ages of 11-17


Exact start and end dates vary upon location but generally, GirlSpace® runs afterschool for 2 hours, 1 day per week, for 20 weeks from October to March.


Up to $200 (based on $10/week) 
Cost will not be a barrier for any participant. Subsidies are easily available. Just ask us when you register!  


Groups typically run in schools or public facilities across Edmonton to allow everyone the chance to participate, no matter where they live. 

*An exact schedule and list of locations will be announced when the 2018/19 registration period opens in Fall 2018. 

“I always thought I was the only girl who felt she wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Now, I know that I am enough, and I can be anything I want to be. But the best part of GirlSpace®? I met my best friend. We go through the hard times together now.”

—  GirlSpace® Participant

How to sign up

GirlSpace® registration is currently closed. Watch for more information on the next registration period in Fall 2018.


Want more information?

Wendy Salvisberg, M.Sc.
Registered Provisional Psychologist
Manager of Youth Programming
Email |
Phone | 780-423-9922 Ext 306

Ashley Lim, R. Psych
Registered Psychologist
Director of Counselling Services & Youth Leadership Programs
Email |
Phone | 780-423-9922 Ext 292

Host a GirlSpace® Program

Is your school interested in hosting a GirlSpace® program? Let us know!

Wendy Salvisberg, M.Sc.
Registered Provisional Psychologist
Manager of Youth Programming
Email |
Phone | 780-423-9922 Ext 306

Your Support
Makes a Difference

When you support YWCA Edmonton, you transform the lives of thousands of women and families in need.