January 14, 2002
This week, we are launching three stories written by students from Nanaimo, British Columbia. As a special event you can read their stories as well as hear them, with the audio player.
Literacy Nanaimo was founded in 1990 as a community based literacy organization. They maintain a partnership with the local university-college and assist with the coordination of their Volunteer Tutor Program. Many individuals find it less threatening to access literacy programs through Literacy Nanaimo's downtown storefront. They provide computer equiped tutoring rooms and a large library of resource materials.
This story was written by Johnnie Kupusa. Johnnie has attended Literacy Nanaimo for six years. He hopes someday to work or volunteer with mentally handicapped people. He knows some of the problems they have in their lives, because he is also disabled. Johnnie is interested in a lot of things, such as learning about computers, as well as his education. Why did he go back to school at this time in his life? Because he wants to learn about disabilities and help mentally disabled people. He promised God at the age of nine that he would help his special people and love them as his father in heaven taught him. Johnnie grew up at the time when people who had a lot of different disabilities were not treated very well and there were not many programs for them. Literacy has helped him reach his goal in life, given him independence and helped him strive for his dreams. He thanks all the people in his life for helping him and giving him their support.
Play an audio version of this story
I was born with several disabilities. When I went to school the teacher told me that I couldn't learn because of my disabilities. The other children tormented me with name calling and physical abuse. After leaving school at age 21 there were no program only institutions available to me locally so I stayed home with my parents helping wherever I could. I was able get some tutoring privately from a friend. On Christmas Eve, 1993 my father died of kidney cancer. My mom and I moved from Nova Scotia. We still find it hard around Christmas time. One of my brothers asked my mom and I to come to British Columbia for a vacation. When we arrived our family talked us into moving here instead. Mom and I thought it over. It was time for us to start a new life and that is what we did. I have three older brothers. One is still in Nova Scotia where he is a guard at a prison. Another is a RCMP officer in Ontario and third one is a male nurse and all of their wives are nurses. I love my family very much indeed. They have a very different way of life. I love reading mystery books and doing my own thing. This is my life story.