March 19, 2012
This week, our story comes to us from Fredericton, New Brunswick. The author, Candice Perley, recently graduated from the New Brunswick Aboriginal Workplace Essential Skills (NBAWES) program (NBAWES). Candice’s teachers find she is a great team player, a deep thinker and she possesses creative skills in art and words. Before she started the program, she felt she wasn’t on the right track, with no education and no job. Now she is a different person; she has the confidence to stand up for herself.
The story below is based on the article written by Jennifer McNeil-Hay, entitled: “Essential skills program gives students leg up”, and published in The Daily Gleaner, on June 1, 2011.
Perley said she tried to finish high school but the format was challenging for her with its large class sizes. She never felt like she belonged.
"They told me that if I took this course, I could get my GED, like they'll help me study for my GED so I was like, 'Great, I'll get an education.”
The small class sizes and supportive atmosphere translated well for her.
"I felt like every day I left my head was higher. I wasn't looking down as much as I used to."
The icing on the cake happened when she got her work placement at the gym at the Tobique Wellness Centre.
"It actually helped my confidence too because all the kids were coming to see me at work. And now I know community members that are not only the elders but the little kids too."
A big moment in the essential skills program for her came when she applied for an off-reserve job.
"I ended up getting a job interview and (the teachers) gave me tips beforehand, like what to do at a job interview, like how to dress, how to stay calm. I felt real prepared when I went there."
[This story was taken with permission, from the article written by Jennifer McNeil-Hay, entitled: “Essential skills program gives students leg up”, published in The Daily Gleaner, on June 1, 2011.]