The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program was created 11 years ago. One of the first young parents who reached out to Nicole, the Young Parent Outreach Worker, was Megan. In her late teens, Megan struggled to parent a toddler while trying to stay away from street drugs. She was falling behind on her rent and trying to find childcare so she could keep her serving job. In addition, there was an open child protection file, and Megan did not have a good working relationship with her social worker.
Nicole did what she does best – she came alongside Megan, asked her what she preferred to work on first, and then supported her through the turmoil and successes one step at a time. Nicole helped Megan find a recovery program and supported her decision to quit her restaurant job which was not compatible with childcare hours. With Nicole’s support, Megan applied for income assistance and later got into subsidized housing. She worked to stay calm and focused in her meetings with her social worker. It meant Nicole visited Megan regularly to talk about parenting, offer suggestions and model good parenting strategies. Megan worked hard to learn what Nicole calls “adulting.” Eventually, Megan needed Nicole’s support less and less until they no longer had contact.
Fast forward ten years. Nicole contacted a seller on a “used items” website.
Upon arriving for a pick-up, Nicole saw a familiar face. To Nicole’s surprise, the woman who opened the door was Megan. Megan then told Nicole, “I was just thinking about you this morning. I was heading out the door when the realization hit me that here I am, happily married, taking my child to daycare and on the way to a job I love, in a new car. You saw something in me all those years ago, and now I’m all grown up. Thank you.”
Nicole and Megan were both a bit teary-eyed as they exchanged the item Nicole had come to purchase. As Nicole drove away, she felt grateful that she got to see the successful adult Megan had become.