Some of the graduates of the New Beginnings Young Parent Program display the quilts they received for their kids at the recent Thank You Tea. (Submitted photo)

New Beginnings graduates thank their supporters

Abbotsford young parent program holds annual Thank You Tea

Participants in the New Beginnings Young Parent Program gathered on May 24 to thank the community partners who helped them graduate in the midst of parenting.

The program’s annual Thank You Tea was attended by officials from the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, Abbotsford school district, Child Care Licensing, Fraser Health, and school trustees along with Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) staff.

Also in attendance were supporters from the Kiwanis Club, the Soroptimist Organization, and Crown Point Villas, who help out with initiatives like new-baby backpacks, bursaries and homemade Christmas toys.

A highlight of the event is the presentation of quilts for the students’ children which are donated by the Abbotsford Quilters Guild.

“Students look forward to this event and love having a handmade quilt to remember their time here,” said Maria Cargnelli, program supervisor of New Beginnings.

New Beginnings is a partnership between the Abbotsford school district, Bakerview Centre for Learning, and ACS.

Since the program began in 1990, more than 600 young mothers and fathers have graduated high school.

“Parenting at any age is a tough job, and by supporting students we improve their future, as well as the lives of the next generation,” said Sean McLaughlin, vice principal of Bakerview Centre for Learning.

New Beginnings provides flexible part-time and full-time programs for young parents to complete or upgrade their high school education as well as high-quality childcare, parenting courses, and individual support.

Parents are often referred to other programs in the community, including parent support workers, an on-site satellite ACS Food Bank location and parenting classes.

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