Madsen’s story: ‘A literal lifesaver’
For Madsen, the Community Living Centre in St. George is a big part of her life. Four days a week, Madsen goes there to socialize, continue her education and learn life skills. But with her disability, she is unable to drive and is entirely dependent on others to get her to a place that is so important to her.
Jessica’s story: ‘My daughter is my hero’
The day Jessica’s 9-year-old daughter disclosed she had been sexually abused, they huddled together in the living room, hugging, crying and telling each other they were sorry. It was the beginning of a frightening journey for the two of them as they navigated through investigations by police and social services, and as the girl feared seeing her abuser again.
Helping the seniors of Campobello Island
When the pandemic descended on Campobello Island, the impact was much more profound than the mainland. No restaurants remained open, grocery supplies were limited, as was the ferry service. The way off the island remained by land, but that meant crossing into the United States – even when that was possible, anxiety ran high. For seniors, this amplified any challenges they already faced.
Lisa’s story: Escaping an abusive relationship
Lisa had broken away from her abusive partner, children in tow. But she had reason to worry – while justice officials were working on bringing criminal charges against him and establishing a no-contact order, she knew he had a history of not caring about either.
Ahmed’s story: Nothing is impossible
To this day, Ahmed still remembers the sign that hung in his high school classroom in Saint John: “Nothing is Impossible.” Ahmed, born in a refugee camp in Somalia, fled Africa as a teenager with his father and siblings. Arriving in a brand new land proved challenging. As he struggled with his schooling, a friend mentioned the Teen Resource Centre in Saint John as a place that could help. The very first person he met there – a staffer named Sarah – was so endearing and helpful that today Ahmed describes her as his “Canadian auntie.”
Madison’s story: From despair to opportunity
Amid struggles with mental health, Madison dropped out of school at age 16 and began working a series of minimum-wage jobs. At 21, she became pregnant. With a toddler in tow, she decided she wanted a better life for herself and her son. She saw that opportunity through education, and began her journey to earning her high school diploma through the Dr. Christine Davies Education Centre at First Steps.
Madalynn’s story: Forging a new future
In searching out options for her future, Madalynn turned to the Saint John Learning Exchange. From the moment the young mother became involved with the learning exchange, she felt welcome – everyone there was so supportive and understanding. She didn't feel the daily pressure that weighed on her in her traditional high school.