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October 4, 2022
Nevaeh struggled at her community school. After falling behind in her learning and becoming overwhelmed, she switched to an alternative school outreach program in Spruce Grove.
“It just felt like I could finally take a breath of air you know, like I could finally breathe after so much pressure being on me for so long,” Nevaeh says.
Nevaeh’s outreach teacher, Jo-Anne Adam, enrolled her junior high class in the United Way-funded Community Kitchen Program through Alberta Parenting for the Future Association, allowing students to gain learning experience outside of the classroom.
“It’s an opportunity for students to come together. There’s always a health component where we’re eating healthy, nutritious foods,” explains Jo-Anne.
“There may be financial issues at home with our students, so it provides them with some nutritious meals to take home, as well as practical experiences that they can use at home.”
Community Kitchen not only teaches valuable life skills to participants like Nevaeh, but it offers healthy, prepared meals to low-income families in the community alleviating the pressure of food insecurity.
“It really helps bring all the kids together to do something really fun and meaningful, to be able to be a leader. We always give at least half of what we make to the Connection Centre [to be] given back to the community, and that does make me feel really good about myself, that I am able to do that,” Nevaeh says.
Thanks to United Way supporters, Nevaeh discovered a love of cooking and a place where she could thrive, in turn building her confidence and resilience.
Alicia and Ace access Norwood Centre’s Parent Respite, a United Way-funded program that provides drop-in childcare and family support workers. Now, Alicia can go to school for nursing while her son gets quality early-childhood education.
After coming to Canada as a Syrian refugee, Moumenah took part in an Empower U course at Islamic Family to better understand finances in Canada. Empower U is a United Way program that provides participants with financial literacy training and a matched savings program.