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Paying it Forward: Amtul Lateef’s Courage and Care

Amtul Lateef and her four children came to Canada after previously living in Malaysia and in Pakistan. She had to leave her husband behind on this journey, with an intention to have him join them in the future. This was the most difficult choice she ever had to make. Courageously, she faced this challenge to give her children a better life and a better future. After arriving in Canada, Amtul was introduced to Empowerment Squared through her case worker. She quickly began to feel that Empowerment Squared was a part of their family. She was grateful seeing her children feeling safe and with the sense of belonging that Empowerment Squared gave them. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Empowerment Squared gave the Lateef family a computer, and they continued to participate in Empowerment Squared programs such as Homework Circle, eMovement, and town halls.

Amtul is a strong, independent, and brave woman with a commitment to self improvement. She was able to learn how to use computers and navigate online with the help of her Empowerment Squared’s Digital Literacy program for adults. As a result of her hard work, she was awarded the Youssef Family Scholarship at Empowerment Squared. This further reinforced her commitment to her own development, and she has decided to invest this scholarship to enroll in the Early Childhood Education program at Mohawk College. Currently, she is finishing Mohawk College’s Academic Upgrading program to prepare her for this schooling.

Amtul names Priya Goorbarry, Keneisha Gardiner, and Ann-Marie Anie as people that have supported her at Empowerment Squared and inspired her to give back to her new community. One day, Amtul walked into the Empowerment Squared facility and saw that everyone was overloaded with work, tired, and hungry. Instinctively, she went home and cooked a huge hot meal and brought chai for the team. She hopes to also pay it forward by one day becoming a volunteer and mentoring others at Empowerment Squared. Amtul and her family are incredibly thankful for the support they have received at Empowerment Squared, and offer their sincere thanks to all of the donors who have invested to make the organization’s offerings available.

 

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