December 10, 2001
This week, we are launching 6 stories from the Adult Learning Centre in Courtenay, BC . As a special event you can read their stories as well as hear them.
The following story was written by Gordon Beech, 44 years old. Gordon was born and raised in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. He came to the Learning Centre a year ago and did a computer and career exploration program. His goal is to become a radio broadcaster. He is improving his literacy skills in order to enter the broadcasting program. Gordon also enjoys being in Toastmasters Speaking Group, being on the Learners' Committee and being a learner rep on the board.
Play an audio version of this story
The literacy program that I've been involved in has made me more confident in expressing myself out loud and on paper.
I've been going to the Adult Learning Center for about a year. This has been a good experience for me because I've learned a lot about myself - my strengths and abilities - opportunities out there and how to take advantage of them.
For the past several months I have been attending the local Toastmasters group; winning many ribbons for my speaking. In the future, I hope to speak in my community on behalf of literacy and adult learners. In taking advantage of new opportunities, I've learned to build speaking skills, communication skills and made new friends. I've also strengthened my reading and writing skills and become more confident and ready to set priorities and move ahead.
If I had not taken the programs at the Adult Learning Center my life would have continued in a boring rut. I would be just out collecting empty cans to make a few dollars, and not focused on anything. I would not have picked up the skills that I've learned, not know of the opportunities and great contacts that I have encountered over the past year.
I have experienced a lot of new growth in reaching out to accomplish what I set out to do. I became one of the finalists in the Canada Post Literacy Awards and am a board member of the Adult Learning Center and the local Toastmasters. I am also editing a newsletter for the Comox Valley Head Injury Society and am on the Learner's Committee for fund raising and am now facilitating a speaking group here at the center.
Also in the past year I've moved from a negative atmosphere to a very positive one with a lot of support. I've also made new and wonderful relationships and I am very happy.
Today, after I have learned and improved my writing, reading, speaking and listening skills, I have a focus, and I know how to successfully get there. I also know there will be "valleys", but I can overcome them and get to where I want to be.