Impact Stories

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From Poverty to Politics

Rose wants to be the first Indigenous prime minister—and she’s on the right path thanks to a United Way program.

Rose overcame mental health struggles with the help of a United Way tutoring program

“Growing up was tough—I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a kid. By the time I was a teenager, most days I just wanted to sleep all day, rather than face the world. I couldn’t eat, shower or even brush my teeth.

In grade nine, I started attending a United Way-funded tutoring and mentoring program after school, and the support I had there made such a big difference.
During high school, my family struggled with poverty, which made life very hard. After we paid for rent or other necessities, sometimes we couldn’t afford to pay our heating bill, or had no money left over for food.

Eventually, my family of five became homeless and […]

A Place to Find Comfort

When Nuhaa’s family first moved to Canada, it was a difficult adjustment. But a United Way program made it easier.

“I was born in Syria, but when I was four, my family had to leave because it was too dangerous there. So we went to Jordan. I liked it there because my grandparents and aunts and uncles would spend summers with us. When I was eight, we moved to Canada because my parents thought we could have a better life here.

Coming to Canada was not good and not bad. I was excited about meeting other people, but I missed my family and I was scared of going to school because I was shy. I was afraid nobody would want to play with me or be my friend because I didn’t speak English.

An after-school program helped Nuhaa feel more […]

A Lesson in Empowerment

Emily struggled at school, but a United Way program helped her get on track.

Emily says a United Way high school completion program kept her motivated and accountable.

“When I was in grade 11, I had a big falling-out with my family and ended up moving out. After I left my family home, I felt really overwhelmed by having to manage school and life. Just getting to school was a challenge on its own, even without the homework. And there was a lot of homework, because I was in advanced placement classes. I was falling behind. I would get the bare minimum done and I missed so many assignments. My attendance record was bad.

Then I connected with a United Way high school completion program and the staff really motivated me to want to be there. They were people I needed to be accountable to. I knew […]

Finding Home Again – United Way of Northern BC

United Way agencies helped AJ when he left home as a teen. Now, he’s reconnected with his family, thinking about school, and helping other young people.

When AJ was experiencing homelessness, United Way helped him get support.

When I was nine or 10, I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). That led to other diagnoses: generalized anxiety and depression.

Growing up, I was in the gifted program at school, but I got into shouting matches with my teachers. Things like that happened a lot. Teachers were constantly telling me to leave. Eventually, I did — I’m a high school dropout. I pretty much stopped going to school in Grade 10.

My first job was working at a fast food restaurant, where they viewed me as difficult because I wouldn’t take out the trash. My refusal to take out the trash was because of my OCD, which was germ-related […]

Overcoming Homelessness to Help Others

Travis went from experiencing homelessness to studying at university. Now, he’s helping others get their lives on track.

Travis works part time at a local shelter, where he uses his own past to help people experiencing homelessness.

“Becoming homeless was really stressful. The first time I really didn’t have anywhere to stay, I spent the night on the shores of a lake in my neighbourhood. I didn’t know what else to do.

It started when I was 15—I was removed from my family home by the police when things got really bad one day. I ended up doing a lot of couch surfing, but thankfully, I only spent a few nights outside.

Things didn’t get better when I graduated from high school; they actually got worse. I was still angry and hurt. I ended up hitchhiking across the country, getting into drugs and living on the streets.

Working Toward a New Future

How a United Way-funded social enterprise helped a young woman get her life back on track.

“I played every sport when I was growing up. As I got older, I decided to focus on basketball. It was very exciting and allowed me to learn life skills. I was a social butterfly. One coach kept coming to my games and, eventually, he offered me a scholarship. I transitioned from high school basketball straight into college and it completely changed my life.

My father died when I was seven, so my mom was both a mother and father figure for most of my life. But even though my mom was there, she was working hard to support us so that we could live in a decent area. Really, I raised myself.

Then, when I was 18, my mom went to go live in a different country. I had to […]

2019-01-22T13:41:53-07:00November 22nd, 2018|Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Impact Stories|

Overcoming a Painful Past to Help Others

When Atiya experienced domestic violence, she had to overcome cultural barriers to seek help. Today, she helps other women.


Atiya says it’s important to reassure women that domestic violence can happen to anyone, in any culture

“It’s a challenge to navigate the system as a victim. There are several barriers women in the South Asian community face: the lack of information, the lack of awareness that help is out there and understanding that it is okay to reach out. I’m currently separated from my husband and in the process of getting a divorce, but when I was experiencing domestic violence, my biggest challenge was not getting immediate community support. It was so difficult to escape the violence I was experiencing—and that my two children were witnessing—because I felt like I had no one to turn to.

In our culture, the issue of domestic violence is very personal. […]

2019-01-22T13:46:28-07:00October 22nd, 2018|Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Impact Stories|

Reading Between The Lines

When Jayce’s kids fell behind in reading, a United Way program helped them improve their skills—and their confidence.

“When I learned that my daughter, Nadine, was reading at a pre-K level in grade 2, it felt like a punch to the gut. I’m a single mother of four kids and had just entered university. I was so busy, I didn’t realize she was floating under the radar. Once I knew, though, my focus became enhancing all my kids’ learning abilities.

At first, I thought a literacy camp would just give Nadine extra practice, but right away, she showed so much improvement. She came home every day with stories about reading books with the volunteers, and I thought, ‘I want my daughter to have this much excitement reading with her mom.’ Within the first week, I was getting pamphlets on how to make reading fun and engaging for […]

2019-01-22T14:04:10-07:00October 10th, 2018|All That Kids Can Be, Impact Stories|

United Way of Northern BC Community Investment Grant awarded to Active Support Against Poverty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, 17th September 2018

United Way of Northern BC Community Investment Grant awarded to Active Support Against Poverty

Prince George, BC – United Way of Northern BC (UWNBC) is pleased to announce that it has awarded a $5,500 grant to Active Support Against Poverty (ASAP) for its General Program Fund for 2018-2019 funding cycle.

Each year not-for-profit agencies, that provide community social programming, can apply for Community Investment Funding from the United Way. UWNBC focuses on three main pillars – to move people From poverty to possibility; develop Healthy people, strong communities and to allow children to develop into All that kids can be.

United Way’s mission is to meet urgent human needs and improve social conditions by mobilizing the community’s volunteer and financial resources in a common cause of caring. Our promise is to invest resources where they are needed the most and where they will […]

2018-09-20T23:44:01-07:00September 17th, 2018|Impact Stories|

United Way of Northern BC Day of Caring®- Salvation Army’s Back-Pack Program

Mills and Timken Volunteers with Michele Brooke, Campaign Officer, United Way Northern BC.


28 August 2018

United Way of Northern BC Day of Caring® – Telus, Staples, Timken, Mills, and United Way of Northern BC collaborate for the Salvation Army’s Back-Pack Program

On August 23, 2018, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, United Way Northern BC (UWNBC) planned a “Day of Caring®” with The Salvation Army for the 2018 Back To School Backpack Program. Made possible through generous donations from Telus and Staples; School District 57, Timken, Mills, UWNBC, and the Salvation Army teamed up to make 400 ‘back to school’ backpacks available for vulnerable students in Prince George.

“Teaming up with the community makes overwhelming projects become easier, fun, and rewarding opportunities to come together and fulfill a need in our community. Partnering with the United Way makes finding those community […]

2018-08-29T08:00:33-07:00August 29th, 2018|Day of Caring, Impact Stories|