Career Trek participant, Keri-Lynn Readhead, standing behind a television studio camera

Giving back

For Manitoba moms, graduation is first step in a pathway to success

Feb 10, 2021

With support of TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, Career Trek can expand its M-Power Program and help even more young women beat the odds and reach their career goals.

Manitoba’s Keri-Lynn Readhead admits it was once difficult to make school a priority. As a young mom to son Allan, she struggled with attendance in her younger years. Her many challenges included the need for safe transportation, childcare and good nutrition. 

Graduation seemed impossible.

Then she found the M-Power Program and everything changed. 

“It’s made me believe in myself more,” says Readhead, now 22 and the proud recipient of a newly minted high school diploma. 

M-Power is offered by Career Trek, a Winnipeg-based organization focused on supporting the education of young people in the province. M-Power is specifically designed to give young moms the support they need -- both physical and emotional -- to graduate high school and reach their career goals.

But when the COVID-19 crisis began, there were a lot of questions about how the work at Career Trek could continue amid public health policies restricting social gatherings. 

A timely grant from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation helped alleviate many of those concerns. TELUS launched the Foundation in 2018 with a $120 million endowment  — the largest donation by a publicly traded Canadian company and one of the largest in North America. By supporting local grassroots initiatives delivered through charities across Canada like Career Trek, the Foundation serves a mission to give vulnerable youth a friendlier future by empowering them through enhanced access to technology, health and educational programs.

For Career Trek, the grant has enabled the organization to move beyond maintaining its programs. It’s now partnering with Opaskwayak Education Services and the University College of the North to expand the M-Power program to northern Manitoba, the first time the program will be offered outside of Winnipeg.

That means reaching even more young women and providing them with the tools, resources and support they need to make informed decisions about their future.

“The knowledge and awareness they’ll gain over the course of the program will empower them to become their own education and career champions, and will ultimately open the door to endless possibilities for themselves and their children,” says Rhonda Taylor, CEO of Career Trek. 

Government policies have made the digital divide in Canada worse, leaving some communities without optimal internet. Get informed.

Readhead is one of 11 recent participants of the M-Power Program. She credits the support she received -- including healthy meals provided for moms and their children while attending school -- for helping her gain control of her future. Today, she knows what she really wants in life -- that includes attending college or university so that she can give Allan all the support he needs to thrive in the years ahead. 

“I can do it,” she says of her newfound confidence. “That’s the biggest thing that I’ve taken from this program.”

In addition to the Friendly Future Foundation supporting grassroot initiatives and charities across Canada, TELUS is also dedicated to building stronger, healthier communities, and helping those who need support the most. The TELUS team has generously contributed $1.3 billion in value, time, and financial support to Canadian charities and grassroots organizations since 2000 including $736 million and 1.4 million days of volunteerism, making TELUS one of the most giving companies in the world.

To learn more about TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, eligibility criteria and how to apply for funding, please visit

A man sitting on a rock in nature working on a laptop.

Help support connecting communities

Better government policies are needed to ensure better connectivity for Canadians.

Get informed