"I became pregnant when I was 16. It was extremely difficult as you can imagine. I heard about a teen mom program at CABE Secondary School in Coquitlam. So I enrolled in the program, which also provides care through YMCA Little Scholars Child Care centre. It was great because the centre was just across the hall from the teen mom program. I could do my schoolwork and then pop in to feed Santiago throughout the day."
"It's hard for me not to spend every day with my son, watching him grow. But I rest knowing I'm dropping him off at a place where the staff genuinely care and love all the kids. And because I can't afford the care, the Y provides me with financial assistance. Santi loves Little Scholars."
When I was a kid, my cousins and I got to go to YMCA Camp Elphinstone for four years. We looked forward to it every summer and would count down the days. Camp made me so happy. I know the friends I made there will be friends for life.
"I love that the YMCA lets Santiago just be a kid. At Little Scholars he gets to grow and play in a safe and secure place. Every Thursday they have circle time together and sing their favourite songs. He's happy and healthy. And someday he can go to YMCA camp and make some lifetime memories of his own."
"I was originally living on my own. But I was lonely and it was really difficult. Six months ago I moved in with my cousins who are also my best friends. It’s great being around people and just having someone there for you. Sometimes I just think about how lucky I am. Some moms don’t have the support that I do."