November 24, 2008
This week, we have a story written by Joanna Domienik, from Toronto, Ontario. Joanna is an immigrant, a college student and a single parent. Her goal has been to complete her education and work as a nurse in order to help the people of her community as well as ensure a good life for her child. Joanna was recently enrolled in the Immigrant Women's Integration Program (IWIP) offered by the Toronto Centre for Community Learning and Development (CCL&D). Joanna's story below is part of a profile article written for the Centre by Jose Gabriel Sevilla.
I was not failing my classes but the demands of college became too difficult to manage. I didn't want to just get passing grades, I wanted to truly learn. But I was falling behind.
At first, I was disappointed, I wanted to stay in college and I thought this program was a step back for me. Then, I realized that in CCL&D everything is planned out for you, that there's no stress here.
The teachers, the staff and the students made me feel at home right away, I made friends with everybody.
The Academic Upgrading Program is just the first step. This is the place where I want to learn and develop and they have helped me define a path towards my goal.
There are options out there for students who want to learn but who have other challenges to deal with in their life. It is a lot of work but there are great teachers here and friendly people. We develop long term goals for our future and it gives us hope and makes us feel good about what we do in life.