The possibility of a better future

December 19, 2019 | By: United Way Waterloo Region Communities

"I feel like if I can change one life or inspire one student, then maybe they can inspire ten more.”—Rose

Looking at Rose’s smiling face, you would have no idea the challenges she faced growing up.

Her family struggled to make ends meet. And when they became homeless, there was no place that could accommodate them all, so they had to be separated.

It is a reality many of us couldn’t fathom. And for a young person who was diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a kid, the experience only made life that much harder.

“I felt so much stress and anxiety, my hair began to fall out.”

What’s worse is the sense of hopelessness that set in. Rose says, “I stopped planning for the future because I didn’t think I had one.”

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Rose was able to access help at a United Way-funded program. “I think a big part of this program is that it made people feel welcome. Just knowing that there was support was huge for me.”

Rose is now doing a double major in criminal justice and human rights and aspires to work with the United Nations or become a human rights lawyer who focuses on Indigenous issues. “I want to be the first Indigenous female prime minister of Canada,” she says. “But for now, I’m going to school and working full-time as a student parent support worker at the same program that helped me so much. It feels amazing that I could take my own story and inspire other students to keep going and to be the best that they can be.”


For more information about United Way Waterloo Region Communities and how you can support our community, please visit, call us at 519-888-6100, or email


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