On February 2, 2016 the first Women Do Recover Award of Distinction was awarded to an outstanding alumni of the On Going Recovery Program Nicole K. She will  register for post secondary programs starting March 2016. Her award includes 1 year of tuition and books.

Nicole has shown her determination and passion to succeed and is on the right path to becoming a Youth and Child Care Worker. Everyone at Westminster House is so proud and can’t to see where this journey takes her! Good Luck Nicole!

This was made possible by a new partnership between Westminster House and Douglas College. Thank you to all Westminster House donor’s for making this opportunity possible.

To find out more about The Women Do Recover Award of Distinction click HERE.

To find out how you can help women like Nicole start their education journey HERE.

“If it had not been for my time spent at the Westminster House to treat my addiction, I may not be alive today.

Last year around this time, I was eighteen and living on the street due to my addiction. I had picked up my first substance five years prior, and from that time onward my life had spiraled out of control completely. No regard or respect was given for myself and others. I would do anything for that next hit, and I crossed so many of my own boundaries. Despite many rock bottoms and attempts at getting better, I continued to go back into this toxic lifestyle. I am so grateful to the Westminster House for welcoming me with arms wide open and for providing me with a home of love, knowledge, and tremendous support. Today I am five days shy of being one year clean! My life has changed considerably in a positive manner; for that I am forever grateful. A whole new and exciting life lies ahead of me. I am free to pursue my passions and dreams.

Recently, the On-Going Recovery Program announced the jaw dropping opportunity to receive a scholarship of $5 000 to attend Douglas College for one year. Excitement washed over me. “I am just going to go for it” I thought to myself. “What do I have to lose?” Before my treatment process, I had been in and out of different secondary schools and online programs trying to finish my grade twelve. Thanks to the On-Going Recovery Program, I got back on track and currently attend school daily. I’m expected to graduate with my high school diploma in January. This is extremely exciting for me, as I am looking forward to the next chapter of education in my life.

This scholarship will help me attain my post-secondary goals, as my future career will involve working with high risk youth, children, and families. Ultimately, I would like to counsel, support, and work with high risk or vulnerable youth in dealing with addiction and/or legal issues, housing, and abuse so that they can get onto a better path. This is a career similar to all of the people who worked with me through different agencies, drop-in centres, treatment, and detox facilities. In order to work with at-risk youth, it would be absolutely ideal to have knowledge and the proper training and practices to deal with situations, so I am more helpful towards them. I currently work a job downtown and I clean houses to make ends meet. It is difficult for me to afford life’s expenses. Attaining this scholarship would make my educational goals and dreams much more accessible.

Specifically, I would like to earn my Batchelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care. This is a four year program, so having help for a year financially would put me in a tremendous position. Once having attained my Batchelor’s degree, I could work at a job which would be so meaningful and fulfilling to me. My hope would be to make a difference to adolescents and have an impact in their life. Maybe I could improve the development of youth in their everyday environments through times of happiness, difficulty, and resolution. What a cool thought!

The idea of going to school was always on my agenda, but my addiction got in the way of that. I gave up hope and it became so foreign, because I believed I did not have the potential to reach that level. However, today is a different story. I can do anything if I set my mind to it. I am proud of how far I have come this year. I want to keep living my life and never look back. As W. Clement Stone said, “Aim for the Moon, if you miss, you may hit a star.” Let me tell you, I am determined to keep going no matter what! So I sit here typing, starting where I am, using what I have, and doing what I can!”

-Nicole K.

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