Hello, my name is Theresa Cavanagh and this is my story. I was born in Ontario and had problems in school with not being there that much because I was in and out of the hospital. (I was born with cerebral palsy).
When I was growing up, it was hard for me to learn reading and math. I got help a lot in school. Because we moved so much, I was in five different schools in Ontario. I went for Primary to Grade 2 at the first school, then I went to my second school and it was called J R Wilcox. The level that I went to was Grades Three to Five. I went to Tom Payne Public School. I went there from Grades Five to Eight. Frank Oak Secondary School was for Grades Nine to 10/11. I went to Hayden Park Secondary School to work toward credits in Grades 10 and 11 and get Grade 12 credits in Merchandising and Food Preparation. I traveled an hour and a ½ to get to school and I ended up getting sick.
I was 21 when I went to the Niagara Regional Literacy Council, and told them that I needed some help in my reading and math. They suggested that I get some testing and then they put me with a tutor named Tom. I spent four years with him and then we had problems getting together.
The second year I was with Tom, I presented a certificate to him for being there for the Literacy Council when I needed him. Tom made a difference in my life when he was with me for 5 years. He was proud of my accomplishments and he was a good tutor. I wish that he did not have to leave.
Then I met my husband, Mark, and he has helped me with my reading and math and life in general. Our son came in to our lives in 2001. I spent my time with him for the next three years. I read to him and when he started school I tried to help him with his homework, but it was hard.
I started work at a three-star hotel in Port Hawkesbury in 2004. I was a dishwasher and they moved me to food preparation before I left. I had difficulties doing my job after a fall so I had to leave.
Once again I found myself in need of a literacy upgrading program. I contacted the Port Hawkesbury Literacy Council to upgrade my reading and math skills. My goal this time around is to attain my GED so I may improve my employment skills and be better able to help my son. I would like to have my own business and put my disabilities behind me.