Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a nurse or social worker. I worked hard and struggled to stay in academic courses. I was also involved in a variety of extracurricular activities and baby sat to earn some money.
To be the only one in my immediate family to graduate high school put a lot of pressure on me to succeed. I struggled. My grandmother, with whom I was very close, died of a stroke a week after my sixteenth birthday. It was like losing a parent; she was there all my life. I had a hard time dealing with this and decided to move to Halifax with my boyfriend and his parents.
I moved thinking I would have better chance at a successful life. I continued to struggle through school with no help from anybody. I did not graduate and my options were limited. Without work experience, jobs were hard to find. I began working at two restaurants to make a living. The only way I got the job was to tell my employer I’d work for experience not pay. He agreed but paid me at the end, amazed and impressed that I was actually willing to do this. For the first time in my life, someone who had nothing to gain, helped me get ahead. I stayed there until my daughter, Ocean-Lee was born. I stayed home with her for a few years and worked in a few places in good positions. However, with no high school diploma, wages were low and there was little chance to get ahead.
Deciding I needed to do something, I contacted NSCC for information on programs to get my high school diploma so I could enter a program that would lead to a career. I was directed to another agency where I got more helpful information. Again, I found there were people out there wanting to help instead of needing something from me. It was their positive energy and direction that encouraged me to make this big step; my second chance to last a life time. I enrolled in ALP. I knew that I faced drastic changes with child care, finances and home life and was very nervous yet excited at the same time.
I am confident that the strengths I bring to the program will help me get the most out of it. I have great communication skills and work well with others. I am a fast paced worker and work independently. I take pride in a job well done and motivate myself to complete whatever project I may be working on. The teachers in this program are clearly here because they want to be. Some of them have their doctorates, some are overdue for retirement, and most have a hundred sick days racked up. This again shows me that people are there for me and not themselves.
I recommend ALP to anyone without a high school diploma. I wish I had had this program and these resource people to help me when I was twenty years old. If I had, I would be further ahead. Now I am at a point in my life where I don’t just want this diploma, I need it and it makes it very important to me.