Ciatta was on her own, working and going to school when she was first connected with Aunt Leah’s in 2019. It was a struggle to go to school and support herself with no family to fall back on as a young person. Ciatta joined Aunt Leah’s Supporting Education for Foster Youth (SEFFY) and Bootstraps programs in 2019. She found bursaries with assistance from SEFFY staff and gained valuable online marketing skills through Bootstraps Retail Training Program. In 2020 Ciatta developed a severe chest infection and then became ill with Covid-19, forcing her to leave school. Aunt Leah’s continued to support Ciatta during this challenging period, maintaining contact and assisting however we could. Despite the challenges she faced with the pandemic, Ciatta continuously demonstrated her incredible willingness to garner the strength and mental fortitude to continue her education and find employment. Thanks to the help she received from Aunt Leah’s and her determination, Ciatta recovered from Covid-19 and went back to school, where she graduated this past August from Blanche Macdonald.
Although youth aging out of foster care has been paused due to the pandemic, we anticipate a larger cohort of youth aging out in 2022. This increased number of young people losing supports simultaneously will increase pressure on available safe, affordable housing for some of BC’s most vulnerable youth.
With this knowledge, Aunt Leah’s will continue to support our participants in the same way the average family would, finding safe and secure housing, training and employment opportunities, and access to clinical counseling and other mental health services. We’re enabling youth and young families connected to the care system to not only survive the pandemic but to continue to thrive and reach their goals, just as Ciatta continues to do.
If you are able, please provide a year-end gift so that we can continue to respond to the challenges presented by Covid-19, providing homes and wrap-around supports for youth, mothers in need, and their children. You can make a significant difference in their lives with your tax-deductible donation to Aunt Leah’s Place.
Aunt Leah’s would like to thank you for believing in our mission and for your continued support. We wish you much happiness and good health for the coming New Year.