I have been fortunate enough to be working for the YMCA for over two years as an Adult Educator in the Literacy Basic Skills Program. I am given the opportunity to work with students in a group setting or one-on-one, to help develop their literacy, numeracy, computer and life-management skills. Often, our students partake in a holistic learning environment, in which they learn about themselves, how to develop healthy relationships, and positive social behaviours.
Tracy is a former student of mine who faces many barriers on a daily basis. She comes from an unstable home environment, has Asperger Syndrome, PTSD and has been identified with borderline bipolar disorder. It is because of these circumstances that Tracy had a very difficult time in the school system. She was bullied, struggled academically, and dropped out in grade 10. After trying to return to school twice, once as a teenager and again as an adult, she was about ready to give up. I met with Tracy, heard her story, and learned about her dreams to become a Child and Youth Worker. She knew she had a long road ahead of her, but we started to work together to develop her goals, and create an action plan.
After working with me to upgrade her literacy and numeracy skills for 5 months, Tracy gained the skills to move forward. Not only this, but Tracy learned how to self-advocate and be confident enough to pursue her goals! She is now enrolled at Canadore College to obtain her Secondary School Diploma, and will continue on to complete the Social Service Worker program. I am thrilled that Tracy was able to connect with the YMCA Literacy Basic Skills Program, and am thankful that I have the opportunity to positively impact my students’ lives.