Yarmouth students receive LNS awards
Two adult students from Yarmouth County are among the recipients of the Literacy Nova Scotia’s 2018-19 Scholarship and Bursary Awards.
Marcel Southern, Brenton, Yarmouth County, is the recipient of one of the two Literacy Nova Scotia (LNS) Scholarship Awards, receiving $1,500 to help further his education and career. Southern is currently attending the Shelburne Campus at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).
“I have finally found the courage for going back to school,” he said in a press release. “I completed my high school and I am looking forward to the electrical construction course that I am enrolled in at Shelburne NSCC. My plan is to get through this year and look forward, not backward, from where I left off with my old career. I’m going to focus on getting my four blocks as an apprentice. My goal is to be a contractor and work for myself like I used to and provide the quality work that the consumer deserves.”
His former instructor at Yarmouth County Learning Network says Marcel is one of the most motivated learners she has taught. “As soon as he joined our adult learning program, he quickly impressed me with his attention to detail, intelligence and ability to work through abstract concepts and make connections. Marcel is an eager learner who expects a lot of himself and is willing to do the work in order to succeed and rise to the top. Marcel has consistently set realistic goals for himself and sees it through to the end. I am confident that whatever Marcel takes on, he will be a success.”
Also receiving a $1,500 scholarship was Michael Clyke NSCC Truro campus.
Literacy Nova Scotia also awards three $500 bursary awards, with Yarmouth Community Learning Network student Ashley Coggins-comeau one of the winners. Todd Colbourne (Pictou County Continuous Learning Association) and Cathy Spike (Dartmouth Learning Network) were the other two bursary award recipients.
“Literacy can reduce the inequalities caused by poverty. These individuals are putting in the effort to change their lives. If we can eliminate or reduce a financial challenge, it gives learners a step up to hurdle the other barriers they may face. It’s such a small thing that has huge impact,” says LNS executive director Jayne Hunter.
“Literacy matters to all of us, every day. Our scholarship and bursary recipients are proof of the positive changes that happen when adults return to learning and improve their literacy and essential skills. They are more likely to be self-reliant and to contribute to their communities. They are better able to maintain their health, financial responsibilities and civic engagement,” states the press release, adding statistics show that 50 per cent of Nova Scotians could improve their lives by improving their literacy skills.
Money raised through the Nova Scotia Peter Gzowski Invit- ational Golf Tournament (NSPGI) for literacy is used by Literacy Nova Scotia to fund scholarships and bursaries to learners who are in adult learning programs or have completed a program and are continuing on to post-secondary education. The annual event has raised over $1.5 million to support literacy initiatives across the province.
The NSPGI began in Nova Scotia as a golf tournament in 1991 when Dr. John Savage, who was mayor of Dartmouth, called his friend Peter Gzowski and invited him to hold a PGI tournament at the Brightwood Golf Club. The last tournament was hosted by Gillis Truckways in Baddeck in 2017 to celebrate their 20th anniversary of supporting literacy.
“This is a transition year for us,” said Hunter. “We cancelled our golf tournament in June and are going with a Learner Celebration”, which was held on
Monday, Nov. 19, at the Old Orchard Inn in Wolfville. Hunter said NSPGI 2019 will be held on Tuesday, April 30 in Halifax with Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage as co-chair along with Chuck Cartmill of LED Roadways. “This will be our major fundraiser and will be a gala dinner and auction,” she said.
Donations can be made any time via Canadahelps (www.canadahelps.org/en/.) to directly support a learner. LNS is a provincial non-profit organization that has been supporting the literacy community since 1992, providing leadership to advance literacy by ensuring that all Nova Scotians have equal access to quality literacy, essential skills and lifelong learning opportunities.