Each certificate and diploma awarded at the Notre Dame House/Regina’s Place graduation came with an inspirational story. The ceremony, held on June 19, 2018 at a St. Lawrence Church, celebrated the success these brave students earned after a number of struggles.
Notre Dame House valedictorian Hodan Abdiqadir spoke of her family immigrating from Somalia then facing hardship and racism. Eventually, she ended up homeless and came to Notre Dame House for help.
“After seeking help for my depression and anxiety, I was ready to commit to other positive changes, like attending Notre Dame House School and finding housing at Wesley Youth Housing.” she reveled. “It was not an easy path to walk on, but I’m grateful it wasn’t easy as it prepared me for the hardships of life. My mental health has been, is, and likely will always be a struggle in my life; I’m grateful that through receiving support I am aware of this and can conquer it. I have been accepted into the Pre-Justice Program at Mohawk College this coming September; this education will help break the cycle of poverty in my life by enabling me to attain my goals of being an employed and successful citizen in my community.”
Regina’s Place valediction Amy Fowlds also had her own challenging journey.
“I was skipping classes, breaking rules, and just doing whatever made me happy in the moment,” she admitted, “I struggled to follow any sense of structure. I was leaving home, and making poor choices that had a negative impact on my life – until I got pregnant. Although young, I was 17, it was a wakeup call to me. I started making choices that had a positive impact on my life. One of them was going back to school. My son is now 2.5 years old, with an adorable little brother, and I am proud to say that I have completed my high school education while raising them both, and in a positive space.”
Notre Dame House helps at-risk youth and Regina’s Place assists young mothers and their children. St. Charles offers credit courses at both these locations.
Congratulations to everyone honoured at this event.