Massey Centre is more than a residential and transitional housing facility for pregnant and parenting adolescents and their children. It’s a place off hope and support for young moms who have grown up in challenging situations. Massey Centre is making a difference in the community where parents, children and babies will achieve their full potential. Watch Susan Hay’s story about Massey Centre and how the young women are inspired to be the best they can be for their children on her Global News telecast. Watch the story here
Cassandra has a warm and social nature and is the Centre’s “mother hen”, keeping a close watch on many of the other young moms. Cassandra was a resident at Massey Centre before and after the birth of her son, and although she now lives in the community her son attends our Early Learning Centre and she has continued her association with the Centre. She excelled in her studies at Massey Centre’s high school, earning two Recognition Awards as well as several scholarships, which are helping to finance her post-secondary studies at George Brown College. With the support provided by Massey Centre she plans to attend school during the day and work in the evenings. Cassandra is determined to provide the best possible life for her son, to whom she is an affectionate and devoted mother.
A refugee from a country torn apart by civil war, Anna came to Canada in search of a better life. Her discovery about her pregnancy tore her life apart a second time. Her family disowned her and she was left homeless. At first she feared she and her child would end up on the streets, but then she found a refuge at the Massey Centre. Unfortunately, Anna experienced more difficulties when the Children’s Aid Society apprehended her newborn son. Rather than give up, Anna decided she would prove to everyone that she was a good mother. He was soon returned to her care and together they lived at the Centre while Anna worked to turn her life around. Today she is a university student and plans to pursue a career in nursing. Anna is a co-founder of the Resident Support Group, where she continues to counsel and advocate for current Massey Centre residents. She is also a Massey Centre ambassador and in that capacity she will visit churches, corporations and other community functions and events, where she will speak about her experiences as a single mother and the importance of Massey Centre in her life.
“Let me start by saying that Massey school is BLESSED to have THE best teachers in the Toronto District School Board. Not only are they kind and gentle, never doubting or losing patience, but they feed us too. It is always calming when you are having an awful morning, running late, clothes don’t match to be greeted by Ms. J., with a cup of tea and a compliment. I know you are confused – is she a teacher or a maid? – but making her students tea isn’t in her job description, and bringing his students cake every Friday isn’t in Mr. G’s job description, either. They are patient in their lessons, when we falter they do not get disappointed but instead they lift and support us. I think we’ve all learned not to be so hard on ourselves with all our teachers’ encouragement….and all of Mr. G’s praising stickers, it may not seem like much, but when your child is sick and you are tired it makes the world of a difference.”
2008 Convocation Valedictorian, Christina Ford, speaking about Massey Centre’s secondary school program:
“...You empowered us, inspired us and believed in us when society did not. I never thought I’d change and mature so much from being there for only so long, and thinking back to when I first walked through those doors, dreading all the new rules and new faces, a little part of me wants to go back and do it all over again. I will never forget the smiles, the tears (both sad and happy) and the lessons. Because of you, I can now be the confident, happy mother I thought I could never be in the beginning.”
"Massey Centre not only gave me the ability to care for my child, but the motivation to get what I wanted for my life - to have my daughter with me and to live independently."