A successful transition to independence

Stories GraphicKatarina was in foster care most of her life.

She had been placed into care because her home environment wasn’t safe in any way, shape or form.

At the age of 15, Katarina was first introduced to BGCC when she came to live at one of the agency’s group homes. She lived there until she was 18.

“It was the first home I didn’t try to run away from,” said Katarina.

However, just because someone turns the age of which society deems them adults, doesn’t mean they still don’t need support and continuing education on healthy living.

Katarina participated in BGGC’s Youth Transitioning to Adulthood (YTA) program. This program connects a youth worker with the program participants. The worker connects the youth to different supports they need while living on their own. Some of the YTA youth in this program live out in the community and others live in a semi-independent living (SIL) building BGCC owns.

SIL has six bachelor suites, one of which houses the resident manager who acts as a supportive roommate. Katarina lived in one of the bachelor suites while continuing to learn how to improve her life.

“My life would have been a lot different if I hadn’t had these programs,” said Katarina, who is now 20. “It helped me find myself.”

“It helped me to become a more mature person, a better person and a happier person.”

Katarina said being able to have the supports offered by BGCC has given her a family she never thought she’d have. Even though she is no longer in the BGCC programs, she said she still talks to staff because from time to time she looks for that supportive friendship.

“They’re there for me if I need them. That’s my favourite part,” she said about the entire experience with BGCC programs.

Katarina is happy to report she is living with her brother and two cats in their very own apartment. She is a freelance model who believes the sky is the limit.

Seeing Katarina smile and hearing her laugh today is proof that those who support BGCC programs make Calgary youth blossom.