Obstacles Of Youth Don’t Get This Pitt Meadows Woman 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”

About David Murray

9 Comments

  1. Elizabeth

    March 11, 2013 at 7:29 am

    This is an inspiring young woman who will make our world a better place over time. Of that I have no doubt.

    Thanks for this interview, David.

  2. Ali

    March 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Typo in the 2nd question response, should be “there” not “their”

  3. Shannon

    March 13, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I have recently met Sarah and have seen first hand how hard she works to be a good role model for her children and always puts them first!!! Glad this was shared with us, her story can be a motivation for some people out there who think they should just give up!

  4. The Editor

    March 13, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Thanks for finding the typo. Fixed it.

  5. rachel

    March 15, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I want to say that I know first hand that some of what was said was actual lies. The father actually puts time and effort into trying to be there for his kids. But it’s a little hard when he gets pushed away and told not to step foot into the house. And she also had a lot of help from his family with the kids and other financial things. Glad to see everyone believes the mother all the time when you can’t even ask the father himself.

    • The real Rachael

      March 16, 2013 at 5:02 am

      Wow Kevin that is low, using my name, I would never make such horrible grammatical errors. Only a deadbeat daddy would try and ruin such an amazing opportunity for the woman who feeds his children everyday. Get a life, get a job, pay child support.

      • someone

        March 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm

        Too bad this isn’t actually Kevin it’s a friend why would I out my real name and I.did not know she knew a Rachael.

  6. Sarah

    March 16, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Haters will do what ever they can do to sway you from the truth but the truth is always there no matter what is said, done, look to life with love and passion because playing and participating in the “game” fuels there ways of thinking and living but doesn’t change reality there will always be those people out there bringing you down saying things that they know can hurt you but truth you can only cover it for so long, love everyone unconditionally never expect anything open doors for people say hello, smile, and do what you feel in your heart Is always right, be selfless, be the type of friend you expect those around you to be, be the woman or man in your life that you expect your significant other to be as well, be passionate, respect those of authority and those of authority should lead with a open heart and gentle hand be the person that you want to be because anyone can do what they dream of, love you all remember that

  7. Allan

    March 17, 2013 at 7:30 am

    When Sarah told me she was pregnant I cried. I knew what she was in for being so very young. I’ve seen the Real Sarah and she is a loving mother and a strong, caring woman. She is also someone who won’t see her children hurt over and over again. Having said that, if you truly loved someone you would move heaven and earth to be there for them. You would put your own fears and resentments aside and make every effort to make that happen.
    Way to go Sarah, you’ve made your father proud!!!

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