The Youville Centre will be graduating its largest class of young single mothers in its 23-year history this spring.

It is expected that 26 women will receive their diplomas from the centre – an increase over the previous record of 23 set two years ago — which helps young mothers care for their children while simultaneously getting a specialized high school education.

Founded in 1987, the non-profit centre has grown into an education centre where young single mothers with small children can find a way to break cycles of poverty and get a high school education that may not be obtainable through traditional means.

Women who attend the centre are also given the tools to survive and move on from abusive situations, financial burdens, and any other social or personal problems that they may have.

“We have a licensed childcare for their children, and a full range of social and mental health services to help them accomplish their two goals of stronger parenting and graduation diplomas from high school,” said Judith Sarginson, executive director of the centre.

Many students go on to continue their educations.

“Two years ago we graduated 22 girls, and 18 of them went on to Algonquin College,” said Sarginson. “We love to see them continue on into multi-year programs.”