Summer School Celebration and Barbeque

On Thursday, July 24th, as a final wrap-up and celebration of summer school, we hosted a barbeque for our young moms and their children. Our valued donors at TELUS provided funding to cover food costs, secured a barbeque for the day, and provided volunteer assistance! This particular group, known as the TELUS Community Ambassadors, meet regularly to dream up ways of helping their community, and they are entirely volunteer-driven.

chefsTELUS Community Ambassadors with Chef Katie Brown-Ardington of Bectka.

TELUS donationTELUS Community Ambassadors gave their time and donations to help us make this barbeque a reality. Here they are presenting the cheque to Executive Director Cindy Simpson and Youville Centre clients Nikki and Brianna and their children Sophia and Avva.

The day began with a special show and tell for staff and volunteers from both of our summer school classes. The Hairstyling & Esthetics class opened up the “Youville Salon & Spa” for the morning, providing manicures, hairstyles, makeup tips and even paraffin wax treatments to students, staff, and volunteers.

Nails-closeupNails - StaffYouville’s Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor, Jenny, receives a well-deserved manicure from summer school student Kristin.

Volunteer ParaffinAfter sorting, washing and organizing the clothing that is donated to the centre, dedicated volunteer Ria deserves a special treat – here she is receiving a paraffin wax spa treatment on her hands.

Volunteers and StaffStaff members Leslie and Mollie, and volunteer Jane also enjoyed receiving manicures from the students.

The Drama class displayed their handmade sock puppets and showed videos of their activities in the course. The sock puppets were made as part of the “sock puppet theatre” unit of the course, where students wrote their own scripts, developed characters, designed and built sock puppets and mini film sets,  and then performed the plays and filmed them using iMovie. The result was a variety of short plays featuring the very creative sock puppets, and comedic and dramatic storylines. The students thoroughly enjoyed incorporating technology into this project.

Sock Puppet VideoA screen capture of sock puppet theatre.

sock puppets

VideoThe videos played also featured a special Lion King musical performance with costumes and choreography that the drama students put on for their children earlier in the month. The course also included Shakespeare, improv and monologues. It was a unique opportunity for our students to build their confidence and express themselves creatively.

After the morning activites, the barbeque portion of the day began. The TELUS Community Ambassadors worked with Youville’s Chefs Kathy and Deb, and special guest Chef Katie Brown-Ardington from Bectka to provide chicken, veggie and beef burgers with all the fixings for our moms and their children.

chefs-2Youville Centre’s resident Chef, Kathy, with Chef Katie Brown-Ardington of Beckta, and two of the TELUS Community Ambassadors.

bigburgerMason, a toddler in our Daisy program, thoroughly enjoyed his burger!

Beverages were generously provided by our new friends at PEPSI Canada, and of course, we had ice cream on hand as a special treat, served by Sarah Arden, Community Investment Manager at TELUS!

ice cream server

icecreamChild development staff set up a host of fun outdoor games for moms and babies to enjoy, including: face painting, slip ‘n slide, and a bubble machine.



highchairEveryone enjoyed this festive event on such a  beautiful, sunny day. Our friends from the Ottawa Police Service even dropped by to let our toddlers see the police car and its flashing lights!

policeDue to the generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, we were also able to book a very special guest for this year’s party — a pony! “Daybreak” traveled from Sundance Ranch and he brought his little friend the goat with him! These two special guests were a big hit with the moms and babies! Special thanks to Sundance and his family for making this possible.





Summer School: Hairstyling & Esthetics Course

Summer school at Youville Centre is a wonderful chance for young moms to continue learning and to earn one credit during the month of July. This year students could take one of two courses offered: Hairstyling & Esthetics or Dramatic Arts. Both classes not only offer the opportunity to earn a credit, but also the chance for students to express themselves and gain empowerment through skill building and creative expression.


The Hairstyling & Esthetics Course is taught by teacher Fay Campbell on-site at St. Nick’s Adult High School, thanks to our partnership with the Ottawa Catholic School Board.  Students learn hairstyling, makeup application, spa services, client service and time management, among other life skills.


Hairstyling-2We were very fortunate this year to receive a donation to assist us with the costs of the makeup for this course. Our valued friends at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Ivanhoe Cambridge) very generously offered us a gift card so that we could purchase cosmetics at the Hudson’s Bay MAC counter. We were delighted to receive this gift towards purchasing such high-quality product, particularly because MAC carries makeup for all ethnicities. Not only do we have a culturally diverse student body, but this will also help students learn to apply makeup for all cultures and skin tones.

Makeup-1In addition, we were visited by two freelance makeup artists, Emily Wood and Lauren McCarter, who expertly instructed our students in makeup artistry. Fay, the teacher of the course, and one of our Student Support Workers, Christine, were the models for this lesson who received “makeovers”, which was fun for our students to watch and enjoy.

We would like to thank Bayshore Shopping Centre (Ivanhoe Cambridge), The Ottawa Catholic School Board, and Emily Wood and Lauren McCarter for helping to make this course an exceptional experience for our young moms.