Zoe Regains Control of Her Life

Zoe Regains Control of Her Life

My name is Zoe (not her real name) I’m 20 years old and my son Daniel (not real name) is 18 months and we live in York Region. I found out I was pregnant at 18.

Before I became pregnant I was an average teenager. My responsibilities consisted of my part-time job and that was about it. My friends and partying were at the top of my priority list and school and family were kind of far in the distance. I had a boyfriend that I had planned to be with forever. We had gone out together for almost two years when I became pregnant. Instantly my world turned upside down. I was shocked but I hoped things would be OK.

I told one of my friends and then I told my boyfriend. Once he realized what it takes to have a child he didn’t want the responsibility. We fought over my decision to keep the baby for about 6 months. Once he finally realized the baby was coming we stopped talking. To this day I still don’t have any contact with him. He has never met our son Daniel and doesn’t pay child support.

That is why I am so thankful for the Rose Of Sharon because I don’t know where I’d be today. Rose of Sharon is a Catholic Charities member agency that since 1985 has been providing support and educational services to prenatal and parenting young women under the age of 25 across York Region.

Rose of Sharon is the only agency providing these services in the region and the need for our services continues to grow each year. It has given young mothers the opportunity to work towards their goals in a supportive, learning-centered environment while parenting their young children.

"I came to Rose of Sharon when I was about 6 months along in my pregnancy," says Zoe. I spoke to one of the Counsellors there and she gave me great advice. I will never forget some of the amazing programs I was able to attend at Rose of Sharon."

Rose of Sharon programs like ABC Prenatal program helped her prepare for when Daniel was born; the Mom 'n Me and Parenting Groups help young women learn to become great Moms; Healthy Relationships help young women understand better what they should be looking for in a long-term relationship.

"The budgeting workshops and using Rosie’s Closet where I found baby food and clothing really helped me," says Zoe. "The Young Mothers Outreach Program really helped me find support right in my community." These programs also help Zoe and other young Moms realize that they are not the only ones going through these things.

Zoe enrolled in the high school program at Rose of Sharon, starting in September 2011. "I immediately felt like I was starting to take control of my life again." Daniel was three months old when school began. "It felt great because while I was in the classroom or attending a group or parenting program, I knew that he was being well taken care of in the Child Development Center.

"I am striving to become the best parent and provider I can be for my son," says Zoe. "I am happy now and my life is great. I am thankful every day for all the people in my life: my family, Rose of Sharon staff, and all who supported me along the way. You have not only touched mine and my son’s life but so many others."

Thanks to Rose of Sharon, Zoe graduated in June 2013, earning her high school diploma. She is currently working part-time as a childcare worker and she planned to attend college.