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William is reaching an important milestone just before Christmas this year.  On December 21 he will be 50.  While this is special on its own, there is so much more that he will be celebrating this year.   Because William’s life has truly been transformed – in more ways than one.

It began on June 16 when William attended the graduation ceremony for The Ottawa Mission’s Food Services Training Program (FSTP) to celebrate a friend who was part of the class.  During the ceremony, a former graduate spoke glowingly about the program, but also about the help he received from The Mission with education programs for mature students.  For William, learning about the FSTP and all of the other services available at The Mission was a revelation.

William’s life journey to this point had been marked by an unhappy family life, time in foster care, limited access to education, periods of homelessness, and unemployment.  Sitting in the audience that day, all he could see ahead were possibilities – especially since he had always loved cooking – so he applied, and was accepted into the next FSTP class.  He has earned top marks so far and is also busy working with staff at our Stepping Stones Learning Centre to accumulate credits that will earn him his high school diploma.  And there’s more!

This Thursday, November 17 William and his classmates will be showcasing their newly acquired cooking skills at our FSTP Gala evening that runs from 6-8:30 p.m.   Guest will be treated to some wonderful gourmet food, and they will also have a chance to get to know the students, especially William, who has been chosen to speak at the event.

William’s heart is filled with gratitude for the way his life has changed in such a short time, and he extends that gratitude everyone at The Mission and to all those who support our work.

There are still a few tickets available for the Gala.  If you are interested, call us at 613-234-1144 or email events@ottawamission.com.

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