Even with a high school diploma, moving into the workforce or post-secondary studies can be challenging when you have a young child.

This important transition will become easier for 30 young mothers at Louise Dean Centre next year, thanks to a $40,000 grant from the RBC Foundation.

A Catholic Family Service pilot project called Beyond High School: Transitioning Teen Mothers will provide group and individual learning opportunities for these young women as they approach graduation and face the next step in their journey.

“For young moms, the most commonly-reported barriers to post-secondary education are not knowing how and when to access resources, isolation from their peers and the daily challenges of parenting,” said Sherry Hiebert-Keck, Managing Director, Louise Dean Centre.

“This program will address the specific needs of young mothers by providing them with opportunities to be in a safe, familiar environment while learning problem solving, communication and teamwork skills to increase their overall adaptability and resiliency.”

RBC has been a longtime supporter of the Unlocking Potential (UP) Foundation, the fundraising arm of Catholic Family Service. In fact, an RBC staff team cleaned the playground at Louise Dean Centre during a recent community service day.

“Those entering the workforce for the first time are up against more obstacles than ever before,” said Jerilynn Daniels, Regional Director, Community Marketing and Citizenship, RBC Alberta and Territories.

“We’re proud to partner with organizations like Louise Dean Centre to help young people overcome these obstacles by providing them access to the skills, experience and networks they need to develop fulfilling and meaningful careers.”

Jessica Williams, Catholic Family Service’s Managing Director, Stakeholder Relations, said that RBC has been a funding partner since 2012. “They have donated more than $60,000 to programs that build strong families,” she said.

A partnership between Catholic Family Service, Calgary Board of Education and Alberta Health Services, Louise Dean Centre breaks down barriers to education for youth who are expecting a child or parenting. At one convenient, central location, young parents can access the academic, emotional, financial and child care services they need to thrive. For more information about Louise Dean Centre, please call 403.777.7635.