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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Obstacles Of Youth Don’t Get Sarah Harman Down

By on March 13, 2013

Sara Harmen
By David Murray. Last week I went door knocking with BC NDP Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge candidate Elizabeth Roseneau. During our experience we came upon a young women by the name of Sarah Harman.
She was willing to share her story at the doorstep with Elizabeth and myself. I asked her if she would be willing to do an interview for Pitt Meadows Today.
I met with Sarah today and this is what she had to say.
David Murray: Where did you grow up Sarah and what high school did you attend?
Sarah Harman: I was born in Burnaby but pretty much grew up in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge. I went to Pitt Meadows Secondary until grade 9 and then to Thomas Haney. I didn’t like the work at your own pace schooling so I went on to Samuel Robertson Tech.
DM: I heard that they have a hair school at SRT?
SH: Yes, I started the program there and really enjoyed it. I had finished all my exams and was just working on my practicum . I wound up getting pregnant in grade 11 and had to leave the program because I didn’t want to have the chemicals that are part of the school program effecting my baby in any way.
DM: It seemed that you were very passionate about hair , this must have been disappointing somewhat?
SH: It was but I always knew I was going to go back to it.
DM: When did you decide to go back to school?
SH: It was a couple years ago.
DM: What school did you attend?
SH: I went to Utopia in Abbotsford.
DM: What kind of things did you learn there?
SH: Besides hair styling, I learned skin care and make up as well.
DM: Hair school can be very expensive?
SH: Yes, it cost me $14,000 for the school and living expenses on top of that.
DM: Did you have to get a student loan for the program?
SH: Yes, I applied to the provincial government program for the student loan for tuition and living expenses. At the end of the day it was around $23,000.
DM: Wow, that is a lot of money for a 10 month program.
SH: It was very challenging. I had my son who was three and my daughter who was around a year old when I started. I took my kids to an Abbotsford day care with me because if I had kept them in Pitt Meadows it would have added a lot of extra costs to my budget .
DM: Have you got any support from the father at this point?
SH: No, he has been off doing his “own thing”.
DM: Have you ever received child support?
SH: No. I have never received any financial support from him.
SH: I would have to be up at 5 am to get the kids up and then home late , cook dinner and then get the kids to bed and then off to do it again the next day.
DM: You have been doing some modeling right now ?
SH: Yes, I do it maybe once a month currently, Sarah Beth at Facebook is my site.
DM: You also are working at the Cutting Room Hair Salon in Pitt Meadows?
SH: I have been working there for six months now. I work for a fantastic mentor and owner by the name of Teresa!
DM: You live in B.C. Housing?
SH: I currently do, this was a very interesting process. I had one child and was 8 months pregnant with my second but they made it very difficult for me because when I applied they said I had to have two children to be eligible. Thankfully I was able to convince the case worker that I was due any day and I was able to secure the housing.
DM: Do you think that the current provincial government has helped you as a young person trying to take the initiative to work rather than stay at home on welfare with your kids?
SH: No, I think they have made it a lot more difficult. The second you get a student loan you are no longer eligible for any kind of income assistance, they take away your medical and dental as well. Very little incentive to improve yourself. Especially when the job, like mine starts at pretty much minimum wage (It grows as your client base gets bigger) I am one of the lucky ones, in many cases after spending a lot of money there is no job for the young person after sacrificing so much time, money and energy. That is why it is hard to break that welfare cycle.
DM: It is so nice to see a young person like yourself trying so hard to make a difference for yourself and your kids!
SH: I think it is so important to be able to provide the kind of education and training for your children so they can go on to live full productive lives in society.
DM: You seem very politically astute. Do you think you may explore a career in politics as well?
SH: I like education, trying to help kids improve their lives, perhaps working as a school trustee in the Pitt Meadows district.
DM: I think you would make an awesome school trustee! We need to get more young people like yourselves involved in politics!
DM: In closing Sarah, do you have any words of wisdom you would like to pass on to our Today readers?
SH: Thank you for the opportunity.
By Sarah Harman – “I always think that the truth is always going to be there. No matter what other people do. If they are not honest and truthful , you really have nothing. At the end of the day the truth is always going to win out! So you might as well be an honourable and truthful person. That way you’ll succeed in life doing the right thing! It is way better than lying and cheating your way to the top. You are building yourself up in a positive way! Where nobody can look at you as anything but a positive experience”

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