Improving Lives

Improving Lives
Melissa Keefe -
Region 2

Thunder Bay’s Melissa Keefe, a 28-year old Métis mother of four, always intended on upgrading her skills and returning to school, but was often derailed by the daily demands of raising a young family. Undeterred, Melissa sought out options and researched programs that would allow her to attain the education she desired while limiting the strain placed on her kids. Her mother already employed in the healthcare field and Melissa, a natural caretaker, decided to enroll in a personal support worker course. The challenge came in being able to pay for it. “There was no way I could afford to attend school without the help of OSAP and having that extra expense to pay back after finding work would have been very hard with four children to solely support”. Melissa knew that the cost of debt payments alone would have taken too much from her family, so she approached the Region 2 MNO office in hopes of finding a solution.

When Melissa learned she was approved for funding, she knew she would do her best to maximize the opportunity, successfully completing the seven month course and receiving special recognition for perfect attendance. Two weeks after graduation, Melissa was employed. She beams when she recounts where she is today:

“I really enjoy the work I am doing and look forward to learning new responsibilities
as well as building a great rapport with my clients”.

There’s no doubt the time and discipline she put towards her education has permanently improved the lives of her and her children’s, and while she’s satisfied the goals she set for herself and her family are accomplished, Melissa is proudest of the person she’s become in the eyes of the people she values most. “My life is wonderful being able to work in my chosen field and knowing that my children see their mother trying so hard to provide a good living for them”.