September 6, 1999
Dan is a learner from the Learners Speakers Bureau in Manitoba.
While struggling academically, I have been successful in the entertainment field. In 1973, at the age of thirteen, I was a musician playing music in local bands for special occasions. In 1985, I began entertaining children with original music, juggling, unicycling, some magic and balloon sculpting. As the economy began to slither in a downward slope, I could feel my potential for a secure income also sliding. I applied for many jobs that required the transferable skills that I had acquired from my entertaining, but because of my poor academic record I was unable to be interviewed. I felt trapped.
In 1993, I was determined to change that feeling. I enrolled at Journey's Adult Education. My reading skills were weak which hampered everything I did. With help from the staff, teachers, tutors, students and the strong support of my wife and daughter and my determination, I passed the GED in May of 1997.
My life changed a hundred fold. I soon began working a full time job at Kitchen Craft and felt I had some security for my family and myself along with a sense of pride. I also continued performing on weekends, but with more enjoyment as the pressure for income was off.
In 1998 I began public speaking for Literacy Partners of Manitoba. Most recently, I spoke at the Legislature in February and in November of 1998 introducing Dr. Sharon Jean Hamilton. I want to speak for literacy so I can help change peoples lives. I want people to know the significance of being able to read comprehensively.
My goal for the future is to maintain the security for my family's well being by staying employed at my job at Kitchen Craft, while keeping my performing skills intact.
Just a short note to let you know that Uncle Dan has a web site. This is the address http://www.escape.ca/~uncledan . You may pass it on if you wish to people you know that have kids.