Madeline smiles while sitting in her school's library

Overcoming adversity and looking to the future

Growing up, Madeline often went without food, heat, and electricity. Living in over 16 family placements in eight years and struggling with mental health concerns meant Madeline couldn’t consistently attend school. As a result, Madeline was held back in her grade 12 year.

Madeline never let the challenges she faced interfere with what she calls her “passionate pursuit of knowledge.”

At Bowness High School, Madeline was introduced to her Success Coach, Vanessa. They connected regularly to access supports that could help her complete her grade 12 year, graduate, and continue on to post-secondary education.

1,251 students received support from a school Success Coach in the 2015/16 school year.

Vanessa helped with everything. She drove Madeline to and from medical appointments to ensure her mental health concerns were being addressed, helped her enrol in diploma preparation courses, and helped Madeline apply for scholarships.

For Madeline, being connected to resources and supports was the most important part of her work with Vanessa. Having grown up often feeling like she “wasn’t enough or worth anything,” Madeline needed a positive adult to nurture and encourage her to reach her full potential. Vanessa has become that positive adult.

Now 19, Madeline is eager to continue her education at the University of Lethbridge where she has earned four well-deserved scholarships. Madeline is working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and hopes to one day obtain her PhD, open her own practice, and help others.


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