Women working

YWCA Employment Navigator: Joy’s Story

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Some mothers become single moms by choice, some are forced into it, and some simply face the fact that they must finally become single parents. Regardless of how they got there, there are usually times of despair when they ask themselves, “How will I do this?”.  

But raising kids on their own is not the only challenge single moms face. Many single mothers across Metro Vancouver must make extremely difficult choices as they endeavor to pay for housing, care for their children and pursue opportunities for education and employment. 

At the YWCA, we have a special role to play in advocating on behalf of mothers who are parenting alone. In addition to providing individual or group support where women can access the companionship, peer support and community so important to shaping their happiness and success, we also offer one-to-one career and training support through the YWCA Employment Navigator program.  

The program helps single mothers to access information, resources and programs in employment and education, empowering them with the tools and skills necessary to overcome barriers and achieve financial independence for their families. 

Joy is one of the moms who have recently accessed the Employment Navigator services. She heard about the program while taking part in the YWCA Single Mothers’ Support Group in Surrey. Joy knew what she wanted – she had clear goals, but needed guidance and support to pursue them. Joy received guidance from the Employment Navigator and worked with WorkBC to enroll herself in VCC’s Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN) program, her dream career. She is now approaching the second year of her program and is very grateful for the supports she has received through the YWCA (testimonial edited for clarity).



“I am an orphan, born in Nigeria, but I will soon become a Canadian citizen. In January 2019, I separated from my abusive husband and became a single mom of a two-year old son. Life was like a dark cloud. I was feeling hopeless as a result of the way that I was treated for so long, like garbage, like someone nothing good could come out from. Nevertheless, these things made me stronger and allowed me to see more reasons to pursue my goal of becoming a nurse. 

Upgrading my education and caring for my son were only possible with the help of the YWCA resources for single moms. I know success will surely prevail against failure. Now I'm taking the last requirement course for the LPN diploma program. I am confident that the end of this story will be even better. I will never give up, because if I fall, I will be determined to get up and run the race of life.” 


We have no doubt Joy will be a huge success in providing for herself and her family!  


The Employment Navigator program is funded in part by RBC and is part of YWCA Canada's In Good Company project. To learn more, visit ywcavan.org/employment-navigator or contact employmentnavigator@ywcavan.org | 604 312 0483