Donna is currently attending Sask Poly Tech and is taking early childhood education. She first encountered Amakon Women Empowerment Inc (AWE) when she was part of the Street Culture Youth Program for at-risk youths in Regina.
AWE provides computer access to disadvantaged high school girls (at-risk, Teen Moms & girls in Youth Shelters) with no access to computers for their school work. This fosters their ability to perform school assignments, thus enhancing their chances of staying in school, achieving academic success and graduating from high school.
Donna was struggling a lot in school with reading and writing and found herself the target of bullies. She was made to take modified classes, classes usually reserved for students who were new to Canada and did not yet speak or understand English well. She was unaware that her problems were due to a disability that could be remedied. People assumed that she was not smart, so nobody tried to help her discover what the problem was. She began to accept the stereotypes placed on her, and it robbed her of self-confidence. She struggled emotionally. Finally, Donna was diagnosed with a learning disability. She was also informed that there was an App which could help her. However, with just one computer for all the residents at Street Culture Youth Program, it was not possible for Donna to download and use the App.
Then AWE donated computers and laptops to the centre, and one of those laptops was assigned to Donna. She downloaded the App and started using it. The difference it made for her was remarkable. With the App, she could read and understand her course work. Her grades started to improve and her self-confidence soared. She took appropriate classes and graduated from high school. That enabled her to pursue her dream of becoming an early childhood educator so that no child who can be helped would have to suffer the indignities that she endured. Changing lives and enriching the world through women empowerment is what AWE does. This is an amazing example of one.
*Name has been changed for privacy matters.
Amakon Women Empowerment Inc., (AWE) is focused on promoting women’s success by providing disadvantaged and racialized women and girls access to success enhancing tools. We provide computer access to girls in High School (including Teen Moms & girls in Youth Shelters) with no access to computers at home for their school work. This fosters their ability to perform school assignments, thus enhancing their chances of staying in school and achieving academic success. Free computer skills training for underprivileged women (includes women exiting Shelters, female new Canadians, and previous stay at home Moms who want to return to work after their kids are grown) who need to enhance their computer skills to augment their chances of gaining employment.
Below is a Story from Breanne, a Teen Mom in High School.
Breanne* is a high school student and a mother to a beautiful 6-month-old baby boy. After having her son, she really struggled with school as she felt the pressure of raising her son while also going to school was extremely stressful. This was compounded by the fact that she did not have the tools she needed to help her succeed. However, the staff and support system at the Shirley Schneider Support Centre helped her adjust and made school feel like home for her.
Breanne*, like some other underprivileged teens, lacks many of the necessary tools they need to succeed. AWE aids in these areas by providing laptops, so that the girls can research and complete their assignments during their spare time. Some food and diapers are also provided by AWE as it could be difficult to learn on an empty stomach.
The girls indicated that if the laptops were not available to them, they would have to take their babies on the bus to the library to use the laptops there for their assignments and research. For some, that would be an impossible task, especially in the winter. Some said they probably may have dropped out of school. Therefore, laptops play a very significant role in helping the girls stay and complete high school. Apart from using them for school assignments, Breanne indicated she also uses the laptops for personal things like emails. The great thing about laptops is that they enhance the students’ ability to remain and complete high school.
Before having her son, Breanne* said she lacked the motivation to attend school, and had to repeat a grade due to lack of school attendance and failing too many classes. But with the supports in place from Amakon Women Empowerment and the other Shirley Schneider Support Centre support system, Breanne* can now focus on school, feels motivated and is excited to work hard and graduate, to enhance her chances of providing a better life not only for herself but also her son. This is a very clear example of how success-enhancing tools really facilitate success. AWE is always exploring other success-enhancing tools it can provide to further foster success for these girls so they can provide a brighter future for themselves and their children.
*Name and picture have been changed for privacy reasons..
Amakon Women Empowerment Inc., (AWE) is a Registered Charity focused on promoting women’s success by providing disadvantaged and racialized women and girls access to success-enhancing tools. We promote good mental health for Seniors by teaching them how to increase their social network through the use of Social Media. We also provide free computer skills training for disadvantaged women and female Newcomers to Canada, who want to return or enhance their employability, but can not afford the fees at for-profit computer classes.
Michelle came to Canada in 2011, to join her sister who was already in Regina. She found employment as a teaching assistant for children with special needs.
Michelle was drawn to the computer classes being offered by AWE, because they were specifically for women and were also free of charge. This was great news for Michelle as she could not afford to pay for such classes on her limited budget. She was very excited to be able to take a class and further her knowledge without the financial burden that she would have experienced in for-profit computer classes.
In the first few weeks, she really struggled as she only had very minimal computer skills. Michelle says the teacher was incredibly patient, providing her with helpful instruction and was always available to assist her with her many questions. She felt very welcome and comfortable being in a classroom of women who were all working together towards similar goals.
Michelle gained a lot of computer knowledge including using Microsoft applications and PowerPoint. By taking the course, she was able to enhance her computer abilities and further her skills in her job. Michelle was then able to take the knowledge and apply it directly in the classroom as a teacher’s assistant in the special needs program where she works. Sharing her skills did not stop here. She also shared the computer skills she learned with some Seniors by teaching them what she knew and thereby enriching their lives.
Michelle wants to encourage people to support and donate to AWE so they can continue to provide people like her necessary access to classes and learning for continued education. To support women like Michelle in your community please consider making a donation by clicking here https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/41972..
Story of the Lone Male Graduate
Amakon Women Empowerment exists to promote women’s success. Our services are focused on women. Then one may wonder why there is a picture of a male graduate on our site. Here is the story of how that came to be.
A lady registered for the class. Her husband drove her to the first class. Thereafter, he drove her every week. On the very first day of class, rather than go home after dropping his wife, he hung around, but not aimlessly. He was very attentive to what was being taught. After, the second class, he asked if he could be allowed to join the class. We advised him that the class was only for women and girls. He accepted our response but continued to sit at a corner at the back of the class and take notes. After a few more classes, I asked him why he was doing this.
He told me that his job needed computer skills, and what he had was not sufficient. He tried to take a regular computer class, but their starting point was too far above his ability to comprehend. He dropped out. But from what he saw, our classes were just perfect for him. We start at such a basic level that he could comprehend.
We decided to make an exception and allow him to take the class. He was one of the most hardworking students in the class. His tenacity and persistence paid off..
I like knowing about what my kids are learning in school so I can help them. With my not being able to understand English, I cannot help them. With this course I am understanding a little and I can read with them. (BK, this narrative was edited to make it understandable as BK is just learning English)