Since it began at our 25th Anniversary Celebration in 2012, we have continued the tradition of honouring special partners, donors and volunteers with a “Youville Angel” award. This award is presented to exceptional individuals in our community who have gone above and beyond to provide unwavering support and constant advocacy for Youville Centre’s young mothers and their children.

2021 Graduation Recipients

Photo graphic of 2021 Angel Award recipient Mathieu Fleury

Our Angel Awards are presented to people who have touched our hearts. Although we have celebrated 31 Angels in our history, each and every Angel has made life better for our moms and their children in a very special way. This year’s recipients are no exception.

When you interact with Mathieu Fleury, it takes just moments to know that serving the Rideau Vanier people for over 11 years is not a job for Mathieu, it is a vocation. He is kind hearted and compassionate and really wants the best situation in place so that all his constituents can succeed. He makes time for us, even though he is very busy. He attends many of our celebrations including graduations. Participating in the defining moments with our graduates has taken a priority in his schedule for so many years.

Mathieu identified during an interview for Youth in Politics that the most useful resources a young person needs to help them with success are friends, acquaintances and people you consider family. The number one challenge for him as a young person in politics was money. These 2 statements make Mathieu a perfect Angel for Youville Centre. We know he watches over us and makes every possible attempt to increase the chances of success for our young moms.

There is a list of Mathieu’s accomplishments, a mile long, but the highlights for us include the pathway at the back of the parking lot which allows our moms to get to Youville Centre easier by taking a shortcut, an otherwise arduous, cold journey with a young child in a stroller everyday during our long cold winter. See the before and after photos below.

Politicians always strive to say the right things at the right time. Mathieu not only says the right things, he also means every word of what he says. When he speaks to our moms, he speaks from the heart. It is more like a “chat”, the most recent being that now more than ever, upon the birth of his own child, he can understand how difficult it is to be a parent and how much respect he has for our young moms.

During our 2019 Family Wellness Bar-b-que, Mathieu donated snacks for the children, not a few, a table full! In August 2020, Mathieu spoke at the Childcare Expansion Launch stating

“As the local Councilor and a supporter of Youville I was proud to take part in this event, launching the expansion of the Centre. Youville Centre is an important partner in our community providing essential services and mentorship to both young moms and their little ones. In the world of physical distancing, where space is at a premium, this expansion will allow Youville to continue and improve the delivery of these critical services for young families.”

We hope that in a small way we can help Mathieu realize his life goals. Youville Centre is a support and friend to Mathieu. He is a role model for our young moms. Running for office at the young age of 24, he has accomplished so much in such a short time. We are absolutely blessed to have you as a friend, advocate and champion. 

Social Media Grpahic showing before and after photos of path maintenance

Mathieu, our servant leader, on behalf of all of our moms, children and staff, thank you for all you do for Youville Centre!

photo graphic picturing 2021 Angel Award recipient Kelly Rasmussen

iSisters has been in partnership with the Youville Centre for almost 15 years, and has given many of our students hope and support in pursuing their post-secondary goals. Kelly Rasmussen has been our Youville-iSisters mentor for the past five years, and we couldn’t imagine a more welcoming, supportive, and patient ally to work with our students.

Community minded, Kelly co-founded the award-winning non-profit organization, iSisters Technology Mentoring, that helps women in need gain back control of their lives and reenter the workforce through mentoring and technology.

Kelly is first and foremost a teacher and accessibility advocate. Her combination of expertise and kind demeanor make her the ideal technology coach to support our students. Whether you have just logged into your first virtual session with Kelly, or you have worked with her for years, you feel like you are talking to a confidant and friend. While working together to learn various technologies and select apps to support learning, students have opened up to Kelly and shared goals and challenges they had not yet shared with their teachers and friends. Warm, welcoming, encouraging, and an amazing listener make Kelly the angel she is.

The iAssistive Technology Program developed by Kelly and launched at the Youville Centre has helped our learners improve their literacy skills, increase their confidence and advance to postsecondary education. This year, with the added challenges imposed by the pandemic, we decided the best way to support students was to schedule virtual, one-on-one sessions with Kelly for each student as they started their academics. This proved to have amazing results: both the students and Kelly enjoyed these sessions, and teachers noticed an immediate improvement in students’ confidence and familiarity with the various programs, apps, and processes. Students shared their areas of needs and concerns, and Kelly identified assistive technologies to help and support each student. Extensions and apps to help with reading, writing, research and formatting were commonly discussed. Organizing and streamlining workflow, as well as apps to help with studying or organizing appointments and due dates were also things students wanted to learn about. Throughout the year many students requested additional sessions with Kelly to review tools, or to build on the skills they already covered. Although we have missed seeing Kelly “in real life,” there is no doubt we will continue these virtual sessions in years to come.

When she is not in her iSisters role with us, Kelly is a learning consultant working with schools to integrate educational technologies into their curriculum and to create first class learning environments. She introduces teachers to the uplifting world of educational technology, providing them strategies for helping students to uncover their true learning potential. Kelly founded her company GotSmartz in 2015 to introduce struggling students, their parents, and their teachers to effective learning strategies and assistive technology that support literacy skills, executive functioning, mathematics and study skills. Kelly’s students become confident, more self-aware of their personal learning preference, accountable for their learning and able to self-advocate.

Presenting to Learning Disability Associations, hundreds of schools, parent groups, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Homeschooling Conferences, and International Education Technology Conferences, Kelly enables teachers to embrace and integrate cutting edge technology into their education system while supporting them in their journey to create inclusive, diverse and equitable learning environments.

Ottawa born and raised, Kelly lives not far from here and loves being part of the Ottawa community. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at Queen’s University and her Education degree at the University of Ottawa. She and her husband Karl have three amazing teenagers Samuel, Davin and Charlotte, who are all tech-savvy like their Mama. When time permits, she likes to disconnect by going to her cottage in the woods, where the only texts she can receive are written in books. You might see Kelly car-pooling her kids to sports games or practices, or heading up to the ski hill. Kelly frequently reminds our students how impressed she is by their work ethic and dedication to completing their diplomas. Parenting is hard, and high school is hard, so doing both at the same time takes a strong and vibrant person, and Kelly feels privileged to be able to support and encourage our students on this journey.

Thank you Kelly for your continued support of our students and their children.

2020 Graduation Recipients:

  • Chris Caletti
  • Monica Goodhue
  • Diny McMahon

2020 Annual General Meeting Recipients:

  • Geoff Burridge
  • Barbara Crook
  • Shelagh Jane Woods

2019 Graduation Recipients:

  • Linda Milton-Perreault
  • Zybina Richards

2018 Graduation Recipients:

  • Patrick Blanc
  • Elizabeth Emond
  • Gavin Thompson

2017 Graduation Recipients:

  • Leanne Cusack
  • Deb Robinson
  • Cindy Simpson
  • Megan Wallace

2016 Graduation Recipients:

  • Linda Daily
  • Shannon Gorman
  • Michelle Valberg

 

2016 AGM Recipient:

  • Jay Sanko

2015 Graduation Recipients:

  • Jonathan Crosier
  • Dr. Sarah Oliver
  • Dwayne Brown

2014 Graduation Recipients:

  • Peggy Austen
  • David Smith
  • Theresa Smith

2013 Graduation Recipient:

  • Max Keeping

2012 Recipients Awarded at Youville Centre’s 25th Anniversary Celebration:

  • John Baird
  • Donald and Jean Eldon
  • Steve Georgopoulos
  • Dr. Tom Harle
  • Dennis Jackson
  • Hassa Mirchandani
  • Marlene Shepherd