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Aug21WedWith the help of The Salvation Army, educational support empowers a single mother. August 21, 2019 by Linda Leigh
At 17, Robin wasn’t making good choices and left high school with two credits to go. A year later, she became pregnant. After her son was born, she realized that her lack of education could impact the rest of their lives, so she returned to school. But caring for a newborn, studying and going to class was too much to handle, so she quit. More than ever, Robin and Silas needed assistance.
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- Faith & Friends
In September 2018, Robin was directed to The Salvation Army’s Grace Haven in Hamilton, Ont., a program dedicated to supporting pregnant and young parents with education and parenting skills.
“The Salvation Army is the biggest part of my support system, hands down,” says Robin. “At Grace Haven, I’m completing my high school education while Silas attends its on-site daycare. Daycare provides Silas with one-on-one attention that he wouldn’t get if I was home doing school work. Knowing he is safe and well cared for allows me to focus better on school.”
Robin says that prior to having Silas, she was in an unhealthy relationship and used drugs to cope. She was also balancing two jobs. In September 2016, she recognized the unhealthy patterns she had created and chose to stop the drugs and work on the relationship. Then, when Silas was conceived, her positive mindset toward success solidified.
“Grace Haven helps me make healthy choices, gives me guidance when it comes to being a mom and provides practical assistance such as formula and diapers,” says Robin. “I get emotional when I think about it, because The Salvation Army has helped me so much.”
Graduating With Honours
“Pregnancy and being a single parent doesn’t mean it is impossible for young women to do well in school or build on their parenting skills,” says Major June Newbury, executive director of Grace Haven. “With lots of support, they can achieve their educational dreams, improve their parenting skills, connect with community, and work towards providing financial stability and a future for their children.”
This past June, Robin received her Grade 12 diploma—with honours. She has enrolled in college to become a social-service worker and eventually wants to be an addictions counsellor.
“I want Silas to look back one day and be proud of me for what I did,” says Robin. “With help from The Salvation Army, I was able to do the best in school and in turn provide a good life for Silas. Grace Haven has left me feeling empowered, loved and capable.”