Sarah’s childhood memories aren’t the kinds of memories that most little girls have. She doesn’t have memories of sitting around a dinner table with her family. She barely remembers eating. “I don’t have memories of my mom making sure I was okay or taking care of me. By the age of six, I was removed from my parents’ care,” says Sarah.
After being passed through foster homes to group care, she eventually ran away. That was how Sarah arrived at the homeless shelter. “At the shelter though, I felt cool. I felt like I fit in with the other people there.”
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Sarah began using drugs to cope. Then she found out she was pregnant. She immediately knew what she had to do. She wasn’t going to have her child grow up in the environment that she grew up in. Sarah says, ”I quit using drugs cold turkey.”
It was a difficult transition but with support Sarah found a safe place to live and enrolled at Braemar School. In partnership with the Terra Centre, the school offers supports like childcare for teens who are parenting.
This is where her story changes. “This is where everything that came before my son becomes worth it. This is where I start to become the person I am today. I am lucky. I feel lucky. I am a mom. I am sober. I have dreams. I have goals. I now understand that the power of addiction is strong, but the power of love is a lot stronger,” says Sarah.
Sarah attends MacEwan University pursuing a degree in social work. Her goal is to help others who have experienced the kind of trauma and obstacles she’s managed to overcome. She is already volunteering for social agencies in Edmonton and caring for her son Samuel, a busy and curious little toddler.