February 24 and March 3, 2003
This week, we are launching seven stories written by students from NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta. You can read some of the stories as well as hear them.
NorQuest College has approximately 10,000 students enrolled in upgrading, ESL and skills training programs. The main campus is in downtown Edmonton and the ESL campus is in the West End of the city. There are satellite sites around northern Alberta. We are very proud of the extra learning support we are able to give to students with learning disabilities and physical challenges. NorQuest won the City of Edmonton Mayor's Award for Accessible Architecture, 2001. Several of the students whose stories you will see receive support from Learning Support Services at NorQuest.
This is a story by Lang Vo. Lang is from Vietnam and began working as soon as she arrived in Canada. She has three children, a son who is 26, a daughter who is 20, and a daughter who is 10. Her children encouraged her to go to school. She has studied reading and writing at NorQuest College since September, 2001. Lang will be in a workplace experience class in February. She wants to work in a nursing home.
In 1990, I arrived in Canada. After one week I went out of my home with my oldest daughter. I saw an old lady. She was speaking French. Her voice was very sweet. She told me her name was Maria. Her husband had died one year ago, but she was very happy to help us. She saw us trying to cross the road. She explained about the red light by using gestures.
I felt very happy that day about living in Edmonton. After one hour talking with Maria I felt empowered to live again. Before, back home my life was hard, but I was strong. I lost my parents when I was young and I took care of 7 siblings. I shared everything with them. When I came to Canada I felt helpless, but now I feel confident once more. I have never forgotten this time. Maria never came back to visit me, but I would like to learn how to speak French.