“I never had the start that I would have liked.”

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Published On: December 4, 2020
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We all know what it’s like to need a fresh start. But some of us have more support systems and opportunities in place to help us get the new beginning we need.

Aria was in the third year of getting a law degree when she discovered she was pregnant. Without close family to lean on and limited financial resources, she had to take a break from school and go to work. To support herself and the child she was expecting, she took two jobs, arriving at the first at 6 a.m. and finishing the second at 10:30 p.m.

“I was on the unstable side of things, trying to find stable housing and later, daycare. I just needed a start. I was on my own,” she says.

A social worker referred Aria to the Massey Centre, an organization supported by your Mission & Service gifts that helps pregnant and parenting adolescents aged 13–25. At the Massey Centre, Aria enrolled in maternity classes and motherhood programs, received help getting her driver’s licence, and found stable housing.

Aria, a young mother, with her 17-month-old son Amari at the Massey Centre, Toronto
Credit: The United Church of Canada

“As a young person, I was thrown into the world. I never had the start that I would have liked. I had to figure a lot of things out. The best part about being at the Centre is that I feel like I am in a safe, supportive environment, and I am around other moms in the same situation. The staff are like family to me. They show up for you, and that’s important,” she says.

Aria is a proud mother of a happy, healthy 17-month-old boy named Amari. She is finishing the fourth year of her law degree and has important dreams.

“I want to be a good mom. I feel that I am a good mother. But I want a good job so I can support Amari and help other people. I had a rough start in life. That’s why I’m studying law. I’m hoping to be of some use as a lawyer to benefit young people who went through things like I did,” she says.

Your gifts through Mission & Service give ambitious, intelligent young moms like Aria as well as their beautiful children the stability they need to thrive. Make a gift to Mission & Service today. Choose to give families a fresh start. Thank you!

Use this and other stories found in Your Generosity Matters (formerly Minutes for Mission) to spread the word about Mission & Service.

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