When we heard Oprah was coming to Ottawa, we just had to reach out to her to see if she might have time in her schedule to visit us at Youville Centre. So, with the support of a loyal donor, we sat down and wrote to Oprah, hoping that at the very least, we would get a warm reply from her production company. Understandably so, with her busy schedule, Oprah didn’t have time to visit us, but she did make it possible for all of our current Youville Centre moms to visit her!
Oprah herself donated 50 free tickets to ‘An Evening with Oprah’ at Scotiabank Place, which took place on Wednesday, April 10th, 2013. Because of her generosity, Youville Centre students and some staff members were fortunate to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to hear Oprah speak her words of wisdom, live and on stage in our home city of Ottawa! We boarded a bus provided to us at a discount by the generous folks at M.L. Bradley Ltd. and headed down the Queensway to have our ‘evening with Oprah’.
Just when we thought we couldn’t hear even more good news, we got a call from our loyal donor that Bayshore Shopping Centre (a sponsor of the event), had made it possible for two of our young moms to meet Oprah!
So, two of our young moms enjoyed a VIP Meet & Greet with Oprah and some other dedicated Ottawa fans and lucky guests. Our two students got the chance to say hello to Oprah, and while they were having their photo taken with her, she commented on how much she liked the hand-decorated International Day of Pink anti-bullying t-shirts they were wearing, one of which said, ‘Dare to be Different’!
Hearing Oprah speak meant so much to many of our young moms, so we thought we would share a few of their reflections with all of you.
*Unfortunately due to copyright laws we cannot share the photo of our students with Oprah, but if you would like to see it, please drop by the centre, as it is hanging in our lobby.
This weekend would be a great time to stop by between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., as Youville Centre is participating in Doors Open Ottawa!
So much gratitude goes out to Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Studios, Bayshore Shopping Centre, M.L. Bradley Ltd. and our loyal donor (you know who you are!) who got this whole ball rolling
Please enjoy some reflections from our students from this special evening:
Reflections from ‘An Evening With Oprah’
By: Youville Centre Students
Each of these reflections was written by a teen mother aged 15-21.
When I heard Oprah say…
“When I first heard Oprah say, ‘Listen to your calling – you are made to do something uniquely you…be obedient to the call’, it made me think of what I want to do in my life and the dreams that I have. It made me think I should go through with it, that if I really love my dream a lot that I should not be ashamed of it, that I should go for it because that’s what I love, what I was born to do.”
“When I heard Oprah say, ‘When you lose your job, it’s just life moving you in a different direction’, it made me think of the path I used to be on and the path that I am currently on. It made me think of the changes that I have made and how proud I am of myself.”
“…make me want to always have an open mind.”
“…are very inspiring and they help me want to follow my dreams.”
“…make me want to smile and be happy when approaching every task and challenge.”
Lessons Learned & Stories Shared
“I’ve been going through a lot lately, and I find that I dwell in the past and that makes my situation so much worse. After the Oprah show, I told my friends that I think this is exactly what I needed right now.”
“The show really enlightened me. It was very inspirational and made me want to take in the things that Oprah said and apply it in my life. It made me feel a lot better about my situation because I know that anything can happen, I just have to make it happen and have a positive outlook on life. If I am optimistic I will have positive reactions in my life.”
“I want to thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to see Oprah. I think this was such a great opportunity and it really did change my outlook on life. I wish every young mother could have shared this experience with me, but I am lucky that I was so fortunate to see her. Thank you so much, I cannot express my gratitude enough!”