Daniel Bernard was born in 1964 in St. Louis, PEI. During elementary school he was very happy and loved to learn. In Grade 6, he had an accident that would change his life forever.
Daniel was 12 years old when a drunk driver hit him as he was walking home. The driver fled the scene leaving him lying on the ground. He had extensive injuries that he still struggles with today at 45. He says the driver was caught and charged, but he has heard that he still drives drunk. This reality is difficult for Daniel. His right hand was hurt so badly it still causes him pain today. He also lost an eye and suffered some brain damage.
After the accident, he tried to go back to school but learning was very difficult for him. He also looked different. His peers teased him relentlessly making school a terrible place for him. He left school before he finished Grade 7.
He went to work in a potato warehouse for the next 8 years. He eventually got a job with the government working on the highways. He still works at this job but he is frustrated that it is only seasonal. He wants to be able to work all year.
Daniel realized that to get full-time employment he needed to get his GED. He says "now-a-days you need a GED diploma for just about every job."
He's been in school for almost two years now and he loves it. He says it feels really good to learn and he has so much support from teachers, friends and family. He says his son Zachary, who is 12, is very proud of him. Daniel laughed when he talked about his son teasing him. "He jokes that he might get his grade 12 before me. He might but I'm not quitting no matter how long it takes me."
Daniel says being in school has given him new hope for the future. He wants people to realize they don't have to be scared to go back to school. Holland College gives you so much support and you can learn at your own pace. He says "if you don't have your GED, you better get it."
Daniel quotes his teacher to explain his new motto in life, "take a small step everyday, just do a little bit more, and eventually you'll get it."