Rose Streete


Mothers Anonymous 

 Rose's  Story:

Originally from Jamaica, our family immigrated to Hull, Quebec in 1976 where I became fluent in French. I was five-and-a-half years old when we arrived. Three years later we moved and I grew up in our nation's capital, Ottawa where I lived there until I left for university in the summer of 1989.

I added to the attrition (dropout) rate in 1993 when I left York University with my second child on the way. I did various client services jobs in telecommunications, computer output media, import and export logistics, fitness equipment supplies, television and home appliances, and the auto manufacturing industry. 

Excelling in my client care roles, I concentrated on building my communication skills and was elected the 2005 President of Nissan Toastmasters after winning several awards for my motivational and inspirational speeches. My personal growth experience with Toastmasters made me understand that to be a good leader, you had to be a good communicator. To date, I have delivered over 100 well-received keynote speeches to youth, parents, individuals and community groups on topics which relate to re-thinking, re-viewing and re-focusing their lifestyle by re-evaluating their core-beliefs.

Then, In the summer of 2006 I was pregnant with my fourth of five children and after losing my well-paying job in the auto industry I found myself homeless, jobless and penniless. I had no choice but to go to a shelter.

It was in that Mississauga shelter that I was able to identify the gaps in services which further alienated and marginalized people in my position and decided I would not only advocate on my behalf, but on the behalf of every woman who may find themselves at a crossroad such as I did. In an effort to get back on my feet, I lived in a transitional occupancy for one year before moving to my Colonial / Collegeway neighbourhood in the summer of 2007.

Not satisfied with the way my new neighbourhood was I decided if not me, then who was going to bring about the change I wanted to see for my family and our neighbourhood. I did ad hoc grassroots outreach and engagement through my organization Mothers Anonymous

Getting to know my neighbours allowed them to get to know me too and discover the issues that needed improvements. Number one on their list was safety, security and equitable treatment. Using an anti-oppressive framework, I was able to deliver on their needs. I found my passion through “the service of the people"Consistency was the key and I say with pride, that my neighbourhood is now vibrant, livable and connected to the region we live in. 

While doing a communication internship at the Region of Peel I  also volunteered my time spearheading a dizzying list of community initiatives across the Peel Region. As a result of my commitment to people I have built a reputation as a motivational force who gets things done. 

From gathering volunteers for regional housing and park projects to hosting a community forum and anti-violence initiatives involving the Peel Regional Police. I partnered and collaborated for positive and sustainable change. It is clear that community investment is another key to improving the lives of the people who work, live and play here in our neighbourhood. Showing people they count enables them to feel valuable and creates a solid anchor connecting them to their community. 

I realized I had found my calling and I applied for a job as an engagement officer but was told that although I had proven success in the area  Contnued at Right...
of outreach and development, I was lacking the credentials associated with post-secondary training. No one had to tell me twice because for the first time in 19 years I had a reason to go back to school.

I was terrified but I was more afraid of not improving mine and my family's quality of life. The more I researched, the more convinced I was that I was on the right path. It took me two months to hunt down my archived high school transcript and it was time well spent.

In June 2013, I graduated from the Community Worker - Outreach and Development program at Sheridan College with high honours and the honour of being Valedictorian of my Faculty of Applied Health and Community Service. I walked out of Sheridan College with a purpose: to be in "the service of the people" and the means to achieve it.

Between my first and second year of college I worked hard and achieved my Real Estate License to trade in real estate because I know the importance of housing security and being a sales representative further allowed me to help those in need. Amid my academic accomplishments, I won Sheridan College's Community Leadership award, the Canadian Federation of University Women Oakville Chapter Community Leadership award and I am the current recipient of the 2013 YMCA GTA Peace Medallion. 

I continue to transform my community as the Project Coordinator for the Setting the Stage (STS) Project at Peel Children and Youth Initiative (PCYI). It is a federally funded grant from the Status of Women which PCYI is delivering to marginalized and racialized 16-24 years old girls in my Colonial/ Collegeway neighbourhood. 

I conduct participatory action research in order to identify and explore barriers to economic prosperity these girls and young women face. In addition, my role as Project Coordinator enabled me to create a successful women's advisory group in order to strategize ways to overcome or eliminate these barriers from preventing these girls and young women from succeeding.

My life is an example of resiliency and resolve that I hope will inspire others to overcome obstacles in the way of their success. As far as lessons learned about personal determination and perseverance I say that belief is a very powerful thing. I am convinced that the power of one has the ability to attract the power and support of many. The first step however, is yours to make. A fire needs to be ignited within your soul that pushes you when you are weary and motivates and inspires you as needed. 

What could possibly be next? I am a current candidate for our upcoming Municipal elections where I am running for the position of City Councillor for Ward 8. It is my goal to contribute to the decision-making process by getting directly involved in the policy making stream to enable me to support more individuals and families within my community and beyond. 

No matter the outcome I will be at peace knowing that like everything else in my life something wonderful will come from the experience.

Rose Streete is a Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, Researcher, Life Coach AND Executive Director, Mothers Anonymous


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