New Beginnings Young Parent Program [participants who are graduating display the handmade quilts that were given to them by the Abbotsford Quilters Guild for their kids. (Submitted photo)

Young parents hold event in Abbotsford to thank supporters

Thank You Tea held annually by the New Beginnings program

The New Beginnings Young Parent program participants held a tea on May 23 to thank the community partners who helped them graduate in the midst of parenting.

New Beginnings is a partnership between the Abbotsford School District, Bakerview Centre for Learning, and Abbotsford Community Services (ACS).

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

This year’s class included 12 moms graduating who have 16 children.

“These are 12 amazing woman who have worked really hard and overcome many odds, including issues like relationships, housing and parenting challenges,” said Maria Cargnelli, the program manager of New Beginnings.

“They come every day because they want to make a better life for their children.”

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

The event was attended by officials from the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, Abbotsford School District, Child Care Licensing, Fraser Health, and school trustees along with ACS staff.

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

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, access to a nurse practitioner, 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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