September 30, 2002
The following story was written by Alice Amaral, from Laval, Quebec. Alice is a 2002 recipient of The Cooperators' Learner Achievement Award for Quebec. She is the mother of two grown daughters. Alice loves people and she loves learning new things. She also loves to know what people think of things. She goes to the gym regularly and is part of a Weight Watchers group with four friends. Alice has a new love and passion : she is desperate to learn how to read and write very well in order to be totally self-sufficient. Her writing has greatly improved since she has been in literacy classes. Alice is enrolled at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Adult Education Centre in Laval.
In January, I finally had the strength to change my life. I was no longer willing to live my life hiding. The secret that I could not read or write properly and embarassment was just too much to bare. I decided to come from helplessness to hope; from hiding to being determined to succeed.
I kept telling myself that I was capable if only I believed in myself. It was important that I stayed focused and did not give up.
Learning to use the dictionary was a huge achievement as I knew the possibilities would be endless for writing notes, grocery lists, etc. There is no feeling like the joy of writing a journal and having the words flow.
[This story was taken with permission, from Alpha Lien, September 2002, published by Fondation québecoise pour l'alphabétisation.]