March 1, 2004
The following story was written by Patrick Flanagan, from Summerside, PEI. Patrick won a PEI Literacy Alliance bursary in December 2003. His employer and tutor references were all enthusiastic about Patrick's determination to reach his goals. He is now continuing his studies at the PEI Institute of Adult and Community Education in Summerside.
I left school in grade nine when I was fifteen because at that time I thought I had enough education. I have found over the years it has been very difficult. The problems I encountered were getting dead end jobs, and having the company I was working for close. The types of jobs I got were in a factory, construction, farming and sales.
I knew there must be some type of barrier that was stopping me, so I looked into Skills Development. Then I decided that I needed to upgrade my academic skills. I figured if I returned to adult education at Holland College I would acquire the knowledge I needed to get a better job. I know this will give me a higher standard of living and improve my self esteem.
In December I enrolled full-time in a GED class. After I pass my GED I will need my grade twelve Math and English credits. Then I hope to enroll in a Business information Technology course. Adult education is also helping with my personal life. It helps get me out of the house to meet new people and to make new friends.
It has been a challenge for me to go back to school because I have had only negative feedback from my family and friends. Being a separated parent with two young sons, I want to set a good example to them both about the importance of education. I have created a plan for myself. It includes getting the necessary knowledge to get into a career in the computer field and excel in that area. Then I can get a better job and do something I enjoy.
[This story was taken with permission, from Live and Learn, Winter 2004, a newsletter by the PEI Literacy Alliance.]