Our Impact: HDSB Student Stories


Mo is 12. His glasses were broken and had to be taped together. He could barely see through the tape, but without them he could see nothing. His parents could not afford a new pair.

HLF provided funds to replace the glasses, enabling Mo to read properly and fully participate in class once again.

"Now I can see perfectly," he says.

"People like you are very caring. I can't thank you enough."

Michael lives with his single mom and his sister. His mom has gone back to school to try to improve the family’s situation, but currently has little income. She often relies on the generosity of friends and family to put food on the table for the kids.

Michael admitted to his principal that he often couldn’t find two clean socks that matched and he didn’t have proper shoes or winter boots. He was coming to school wearing slippers.

With support from HLF, Michael not only got new shoes, socks, jeans, a winter coat and boots, he also discovered a sense of pride in himself that he did not have before.

Ashley's home was no longer safe due to a parent’s abuse, and she fled mid-way through the school year with nothing but the clothes on her back.

Like many students who are too old for care and fearful of shelters, Ashley made do by couch surfing with friends while pursuing more permanent accommodation. Her part-time job covered the cost of food, but support from HLF allowed Ashley to purchase clothing, school supplies and other basic necessities she was forced to leave behind at home.

"Your support was so helpful to get me settled; I had none of my stuff with me," she said. "I can get to school now."

Life hasn’t been easy for Jay. As a child he underwent multiple surgeries and spent much of his childhood in hospital. Many days he felt like giving up.

As a teenager he felt like “the kid with all the problems,” so did whatever he could to try to fit in – not all of it good.

With support from teachers and his family, Jay was able to turn things around and achieve great success in school. Recently he was awarded a scholarship through HLF that will help him pursue medical sciences at university.

“I have grown from a troublesome young kid to an aspiring doctor,” said Jay. “I’m honoured to receive this award as recognition for my hard work at school and I look forward to achieving wonderful things.”