I’ve always described myself as the grandson of an Albertan coal miner. And, he was the son of a coal miner. Despite a series of setbacks, my grandfather was the first in our family to go to university. He got his engineering degree when he was almost 30 years old.
My grandfather told me that “education opens doors, but it is what you do when you walk through the door that really counts.” His efforts to learn and work hard changed our family’s social and economic circumstances. Because of my grandfather, my mother had different opportunities and was able to have a career with a stable income, and the cycle continues with me and my kids. This stable income, education, intergenerational assets like the house I now live in with my family, along with being white and a man, give me privilege. Privilege that makes things a little easier for me. An awareness of this privilege is a driver for me in my work with Momentum and VCC. I want to use these blessings to help make the community a better place for everyone.
Momentum’s founder Walter knew that having an organization like VCC could enable more collaborative action to reduce poverty, which is what led to us co-creating VCC along with United Way of Calgary and Area over 15 years ago. By working with VCC, Momentum has been able to achieve some of our goals to reduce poverty at a greater scale. I’m proud that Momentum has been able to be part of big systemic changes through our work with VCC - like contributing to the creation of the low-income transit pass - and I look forward to future efforts to advance the Enough for All strategy goals.