Grade 8 was difficult for most Ontario students last school year as they first experienced disruptions from teacher strikes and were then not able to experience graduation due to the pandemic.
For Katie, a 13-year-old student, these disappointments were amplified by the absence of her father. Although he had previously been in regular contact, her father has now been out of touch for over a year as her 13th birthday, Christmas, and high school graduation all went by without acknowledgment.
Like many Canadians, Katie’s mother has been having difficulty making ends meet due to the work disruption caused by the pandemic. Katie has chores around the house to earn her weekly allowance and has remained dedicated to accomplishing them. To help her mother out with bills, Katie gave her almost $300 from her savings.
“She gave it willingly to help our little family survive,” says her mother. “Despite having her heart broken by her father and the challenges of the school year, Katie has remained kind and hard working.”
Katie has embraced online learning and remained focused on her future goals. She continued to study math with her tutor this past summer, even taking a Grade 10 course online to enter high school with a credit achieved already. She is interested in helping to preserve marine life as a marine biologist, or in pursuing welding where women are under-represented in the trades.
Katie will now be able to start Grade 9 with a closet full of thrifted back to school clothes. Good luck at high school, Katie!
"I would like to nominate my nephew James. He deserves to win a certificate because he is 10 years old and lost his dad to suicide 2 years ago. His Mom has done an amazing job being positive and strong for her son. James misses his Dad so much. His mom really struggles financially and she could really use the extra help for back to school clothes and footwear for James.” – Jane*
“I would like to anonymously nominate Leslie*. She needs some help that she would not ask for normally. She deserves it because she does things for people in need often, but never announces her good deeds. She is always helping someone in need, including me. She is a great mother and has a 13-year-old who is growing fast. She also has a 9-year-old who is growing out of her clothes almost as quickly. I know she would appreciate any kind gesture of help. Thanks for caring.” – John*
*names changed for privacy