March 22, 2004
This week, we have a story written by Lois Olson, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Lois has been preparing for her GED at the William Whyte Access Program. She was born and raised in Winnipeg. She has three school age children.
Hello. My name is Lois Olson. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a child in elementary school I barely needed any help at all with my school work. It was easy.
In high school, I was shy and quiet. I started to fall behind in math and language arts. I needed assistance but I didn't want to stick out. Instead, I pretended to know what I was doing. I was struggling so much that I refused to return to school. My mom signed me out of school at the age of 16.
I tried correspondence and it was unsuccessful. Without any help or instructions, I was only able to go so far. As a teenager, I was depressed because I felt like a big failure.
For the past 15 years I've been a homemaker. I have three beautiful children, ages 11, 9, and 8. When my youngest child was in school for the whole day, I had time to myself. I did some soul searching. I decided that I would like to pursue a career. There was one problem; I had no education.
I got some leads on programs. One was the Path Resource Center. There I met with a coach. She told me all of the different programs that were out there. One option that I jumped on was her program. I insisted that she sign me up. It suited my every need; even free childcare was provided.
I am in the William Whyte Access Program. My instructor is Carolyn Buffie. She is a wonderful teacher and she teaches in such a unique way. I am progressing with my GED and I hope to get my diploma soon. People tell me I have potential.
I would highly recommend anybody who needs upgrading to go back to school. The more education you have, the more money you can make. There are so many programs out there to suit each and every person. Since I went back to school, I have more confidence in myself.
There are millions of dollars put into adult learning centers; the provincial government budget line for adult and family literacy grants is $1.00 per taxpayer per year. Sometimes there is a freeze on funding.
I would advise parents to encourage your children to stay in school. In the near future, the funding for literacy may not always be there.
[This story was taken from the Adult Learners' Literacy Testimonials, in the Learner Speakers' section, on the Literacy Partners of Manitoba website.]