We Day: A Gift from TELUS for our Young Moms

Free the Children‘s youth event National We Day came to Ottawa again this year, on Wednesday, April 1st at the Canadian Tire Centre. Our valued friends at TELUS were very generous and provided 20 tickets for our students and staff to attend this event, which combines music, dance, keynote speeches and fun for youth ages 12 and up.

groupshotOur young moms enjoyed a day of music, dance, and inspiring keynote speakers. Here they are above with some of our staff giving the We Day symbol which promotes Free the Children’s message of going from a “Me” to a “We” attitude.

DancersThis year students and staff made special “Youville Centre” t-shirts to wear to the event.

Enjoying the eventCindy (our Executive Director) and Heather (Communications) even got to meet one of the special musical guests, Kardinal Offishall!

CindyKardinalOffishallHeatherJRDN (Jordan) and Kardinal were our students’ favourite musical acts of the day.

Jordan and KardinalWe Day brings in speakers from all over the world to share stories to inspire, empower and educate. Hearing-impaired actress Marlee Matlin inspired our young moms. “You can do anything no matter what the obstacles. She said, ‘the only true limits are the ones we set for ourselves’ and I really liked that quote because I agree with it”, said Sherry, one of our students.

Marlee Matlin

lightsIt was an inspiring and thought-provoking day. One of the most inspiring speakers of the day was 14 year old local Ottawa youth, Jonathan Pitre. Here he is below with Founder of Free the Children, Craig Kielburger. Our young moms had this to say about Jonathan: “He is brave. He struggles with his bandages but he still dreams and goes about his day. He’s strong.” – Rachelle; “He talked about chasing his dreams and that your handicap is in your head.” – Sherry; “He’s a soldier. He’s tough.” – Krystin.

Jonathan and CraigThe always inspiring Spencer West embodies courage and positivity. Our students admired him because, “He is still living life. He adapted to his situation.” — Taina.

Spencer West 2Youville’s favourite speaker of the day was Calgary-based author, journalist, and philanthropist who was a victim of kidnapping, Amanda Lindhout. “She took her experience and made good out of it. Even though people caused her that great pain, she’s helping others. That’s some major resiliency.” –Sherry; “She’s focusing on the positive”– Taina.

Amanda Lindhout

TELUS changeisinyourhandsTELUS said it best when they created a hashtag for the day, #changeisinyourhands. Every day at Youville Centre we live this philosophy that change is possible and it is in our hands. Our young moms are courageous and they come to school each day to make change in their lives, and for their children.

When asked what they related to the most from We Day’s messages, our young moms said, “Pushing past boundaries relates to being a teen mom because not everyone is accepting of it.” – Sherry; and “We related to the mothers in Kenya because they are also providing for their children” – Krystin.

Many thanks to TELUS for making it possible for our students to attend We Day again this year. Our student council is now dreaming up local and global actions to plan and do in the 2015/2016 academic year, to help others in need at home and abroad.

Alumnae & Second Generation Bursaries ~ Apply by May 29

SONY DSCCalling all Youville Centre graduates!

Did you know that if you are a Youville Centre graduate, and you are enrolling in a post-secondary program in the fall of 2015, you are eligible for a bursary?

Your child is also eligible for Youville Centre’s “Second Generation” Bursary.

The deadline to apply this year is May 29, 2015 and you must have proof of acceptance into your program.

You may download the application forms below:

Alumnae Bursary Application: Alumnae.Bursary.App

Second Generation Bursary Application: Second.Gen.Bursary.App

Please contact us at (613) 231-5150 Ext. 104 if you have any questions.