Local woman raising money for graduation celebration for young moms

Graduating high school is a happy occasion, and it’s marked with celebrations and parties.

But for the young mothers who attend the Youville Centre in Ottawa’s east end, those celebrations and parties don’t quite happen the same way.

The Youville Centre is small, and the girls attending are often graduating at different times. The school describes itself as a non-profit, registered charity that serves adolescent mothers and their children that motivates, educates and nurtures young mothers and their children to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

That’s why an Ottawa woman is seeking to raise $2,000 to help send a small group of these young moms- and high school grads- to an evening at the spa, as a way of celebrating their success.

Natasha Vaz started a GoFundMe page with the goal of giving these young women a “big giant congratulations.”

Vaz tells CFRA’s Beyond the News with Brian Lilley she has a personal connection to the Youville Centre.

“I became involved with Youville when my daughter became pregnant shortly after her 15th birthday,” she says. “Finding out about Youville was truly a blessing, because they provide all the support and helps empower and support them. It was really an amazing place for her to go to school.”

Vaz says she first looked into setting up a typical prom and after party, but found that the cost would be astronomical and it turns out that’s not what the grads wanted.

“We recognized that all-nighter wasn’t really going to work for them,” she says. “So, we thought, ‘what does every busy mom want at the end of the day?’ to have a little rest and relaxation and a little pampering.”

So Vaz is organizing a trip to Le Nordik Spa. She says the girls would be able to “sit back with all the girls they have been going to school with and get pampered, even if only for one night.”

The tentative date for this is June 23.

Vaz says she and her husband are covering the transportation, to get the girls to and from the spa in good time, without worry about taxis or ubers, and they’ll be home at a reasonable hour, ready to take on another day as high school graduates.

The link to the fundraiser is here: https://www.gofundme.com/youngmomsgraduate