Hey all, my name is Haley and I’d like to share some of what has helped me become the person I am today. One of my biggest accomplishments was fulfilling my personal goal of attaining a higher education and I’m proud to say I did this! I was the first person in my family to graduate from post-secondary school, both college and university, with a Social Service Worker Diploma and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. What makes this special for me is that I had the drive to achieve this, even though I had all odds against me.
Growing up in my early teens was difficult – I definitely did not live the privilege life. One of my biggest challenges was dealing with the reality that someone very close to me, an immediate family member, suffered from drug addiction, which had a significant impact on my life. This disease unfortunately tore my family apart and was the reason we often didn’t have any heat/electricity, food, and at one point no furniture. I remember being bundled-up in bed under several blankets to keep warm during winter because we had no heat; I remember waiting for boxes of food from the food bank to arrive because there was no money to buy our own groceries; and I remember at 15 years old not having any furniture in our apartment, except for a small table with some milk crates for seating in the kitchen, with a small black and white television. There was absolutely no furniture in our living room and my bed was made of three couch cushions on the floor in my bedroom. The reality I was living was not by choice, but because of the poor choices made by others, it affected my life.
See Haley’s feature story in HEY Magazine issue 2