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Donya overcame her addiction


Donya stopped using drugs and got addictions counselling support from Youville, a partner of United Way funded through project step.

Project step is a community response to drug and substance abuse that provides counselling support, treatment, education, and prevention programming for local youth. United Way Ottawa, with support from donors, works with project step partners to provide youth with access to this vital programming in all 57 of Ottawa’s high schools, three community agencies, and two youth treatment centres.

With the funding from project step I’m able to be here full time,” says Jenny Strange, an addictions counsellor at Youville Centre. Youville is a fully accredited secondary school and innovative mental health centre that aims to educate and nurture young mothers and their children to become empowered, self-sufficient, and strong, motivated parents and members of their community.  .

“Having an on-site full-time counsellor has made an enormous difference,” says Jenny. “It’s really important to try to have the young moms be stable.”

For Donya, having Jenny available has been an important part of her recovery.

“It was harder to do it alone than it was with Jenny,”

Although she sometimes had moments of doubt, with Jenny’s help and the support of United Way and project step, Donya has graduated from Youville, has a healthy two-year-old son, and is now a student at Carleton University.

A community response to youth addictions helped Donya overcome a huge challenge in her life, and many more young women can be helped each year with donor support.




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