November 10, 2003
This week, we have a story written by Dennis Chief, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Dennis is enrolled at the Aboriginal Learning and Literacy Centre in Winnipeg, to upgrade his education. Sometimes he finds it difficult, but he likes to keep busy, as this keeps him out of trouble.
Hi! My name is Dennis. Of Manitobans over the age of 15, there are 107,000 who have less than a grade 9 education. Most jobs require at lease a grade 12 now.
My early years were spent in Duck Bay but during this time my family worked in the pulp industry. A lot of my time was spent in the bush so my school in the Swan River area was off and on.
Through the 70's and 80's, I went through some troubled times and was in various correctional facilities. In 1991, I returned to Winnipeg. After 1992 my life changed for the better. With a partner and family, I turned my life around. I live in the North End of Winnipeg which I find a great place to live. I am presently attending a program to upgrade my education, which I find difficult at times, though I must go on as I am 47 years old.
I have been attending a program at the Aboriginal Learning and Literacy Centre for about 8 months and the program I find is awesome! It has so much to offer to anyone interested in getting involved with school or other programs, like the computer, or just simply being there to talk with my new and old friends about what we have in common, exchanging and teaching each other different languages and helping each other with the subjects.
This keeps me busy, interested in school, volunteering, and out of trouble. It gives me a purpose. I'm only interested in school, not getting involved with alcohol or drugs. It is great to be in a place where everyone is looking at education as their first interest.
My advice is to go, get involved. This is something good to experience, wherever you're starting. For help or to help, call the Learn Line at 947-5757.
[This story was taken from the Adult Learners' Literacy Testimonials, on the Literacy Partners of Manitoba website.]