Monika Sousa-Day became a parent at just 17 when she gave birth to her son. As a talented and passionate baker, she had big dreams of opening her own bakery, but wasn’t sure how she would get there.
“Having a son at 17 and trying to graduate high school, funding is quite a struggle,” Monika says.
Monika is one of the first recipients of the Women’s Leadership Council Inspiring Futures scholarships. These scholarships were created in collaboration between Burns Memorial Fund and United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC). They are targeted to pregnant and parenting teens to further their post-secondary education.
“[This scholarship] gives me the opportunity to actually proceed through post-secondary. Without scholarships and bursaries, I wouldn’t be able to put myself through post-secondary because I have a child.”
Having graduated from high school in June, Monika’s scholarship will go toward her tuition at SAIT’s Culinary School. After her initial two-year program, she now hopes to earn a business degree and pursue her dream of opening her own bakery.
“[This scholarship] gives me that push to get through school because someone else does believe in me.”
The WLC is expanding its focus to provide supports so all Calgary’s girls succeed in school, develop confidence and are set up for future success.