It’s Never TooLate for New Be­gin­nings

Toronto Star - - MEDIA PLANET -

My jour­ney started at the St. Charles Adult and Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre in Hamil­ton, ON in the fall of 2011. I en­rolled in the Lit­er­acy and Ba­sic Skills pro­gram. My goal was to up­grade my math and writ­ing skills in or­der to en­ter the St. Charles Credit pro­gram. It was nec­es­sary for me to ob­tain my grade 11 and 12 English and math cred­its to ac­quire my high school diploma in or­der to en­ter the So­cial Ser­vice Worker pro­gram at Mo­hawk Col­lege. When I spoke to one of the co­or­di­na­tors at St. Charles she per­suaded me to ap­ply for the Ed­u­ca­tional Sup­port pro­gram in­stead, be­cause she thought I would have great po­ten­tial in as­sist­ing chil­dren with ex­cep­tional skills within the school set­ting.

While at­tend­ing St. Charles, I ded­i­cated my­self to com­plet­ing the Lit­er­acy and Ba­sic Skills pro­gram, up­graded my skills,en­tered the Credit pro­gram, and worked to­wards the nec­es­sary cred­its in or­der to en­rol with Mo­hawk Col­lege in less than eight months. At that time, I was nom­i­nated and won the Adult Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion award in the spring of 2012. When I re­ceived the award, I took the op­por­tu­nity to thank Beatrice Ado­ranti from St. Charles, and many oth­ers for their ap­pre­ci­a­tion and ac­knowl­edge­ment of my ef­forts.Af­ter this leg of my jour­ney at St.Charles,I con­tin­ued to work at my house­clean­ing busi­ness for the re­main­der of the year.

In Jan­uary 2013, I started at Mo­hawk Col­lege in Brant­ford, ON to study the ex­press Ed­u­ca­tional Sup­port pro­gram. This is nor­mally a two-year pro­gram that was con­densed into 16 months . When I fin­ished the pro­gram, I de­cided to fur­ther my stu­dent ca­reer with a big­ger chal­lenge, but I had not de­cided where to chan­nel my en­ergy at that time.

In the spring of 2015, I started work­ing for a lo­cal stor­age fa­cil­ity and I thought deeply about re­turn­ing to school, but waited, as I wanted a ca­reer that was near and dear to my heart. Fi­nally, I looked at the Lau­rier Univer­sity (Brant­ford Cam­pus) course cal­en­dar and read the Hu­man Rights and Hu­man Di­ver­sity pro­gram de­scrip­tion.

I ap­plied to the pro­gram at Wil­dred Lau­rier Univer­sity dur­ing the sum­mer of 2016, and was ac­cepted in early 2017. The ac­cep­tance let­ter con­firmed that my start date for the Hu­man Rights and Hu­man Di­ver­sity pro­gram was to be the fall of 2017.I am proud to men­tion that I have passed all of the first se­mes­ter cour­ses.

Now that I've en­tered my sec­ond se­mes­ter as of a few weeks ago, I feel great— I'm build­ing more con­fi­dence in tack­ling the chal­lenges that lie ahead. I per­son­ally rec­om­mend St. Charles Adult and Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre as a school of choice for any­one who wants to at­tend the Lit­er­acy and Ba­sic Skills pro­gram, take Credit classes to re­ceive their high school diploma, up­date their ed­u­ca­tion, or pol­ish their skills to fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion for a new ca­reer.

Lisa Smook Alumni, St. Charles Adult & Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre

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