Our Impact on Youth

A Young Mother Turns Her Life Around

Melissa, age 18 years, first came to ECLYPSE, Rapport's youth drop-in program, with a friend who thought that the staff could help Melissa. She was a very young mother who was hesitant to participate in the intake process, however, she did connect with the Youth Worker in a very short period of time. Melissa was dealing with the aftermath of having had her two-month old son apprehended by the Children's Aid Society. Melissa was living with her grandparents at the time, who were asking her to leave their home due to her involvement with substance use, as well as, an abusive relationship with her baby's father. Melissa had been having great difficulty adjusting to her grandparent's rules and this further compounded her inability to care for her son in the loving manner she knew she could. Melissa asked about legal issues and the staff was able to provide her with information and emotional support as she worked on ending the relationship with her boyfriend, and empowering herself to take a proactive approach to parenting.

After a few visits to ECLYPSE, Melissa was introduced to the on-site substance abuse counsellor from the YMCA Substance Abuse Program (YSAP). Melissa also signed up to participate in ECLYPSE's first ever Talent Show, as a contestant and as a volunteer. It quickly became apparent that Melissa has a powerful singing voice as well as a talent for writing lyrics on topics relevant to her own life experience.

Melissa has recently been successful in obtaining a full time job, aided through ECLYPSE staff support around resume building and interview skills. Melissa states that her struggles with substance abuse are behind her and she shows strong motivation to stay clean, in order to be able to continue to be a good parent to her young son, whom she hopes will be returned to her care in the near future. Melissa is now a member of the ECLYPSE Youth Advisory Committee. She is demonstrating a clear and focused ability to utilize her voice, not only in a musical capacity, but to speak on behalf of other young women in similar circumstances.

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