Chris struggled to find a good job. He had a grade 9 education from Jamaica, and limited reading, writing and computer skills. He couldn’t write emails. He struggled to fill in forms. Not being able to sound out words he did not recognize made reading a struggle. Chris had a wife, a young daughter; he needed to provide. Life was stressful.
Realizing he needed his Canadian high school diploma, Chris decided to go back to school. But he did not have the foundational skills to successfully attend credit programs. So he was referred to TLG.
Chris began attending our small group programs and also worked with a one-to-one tutor. His curiosity and openness to learning was infectious and spread to the whole group. As his confidence grew, he became a true leader, and supported other less confident students in the group. He demonstrated a deep commitment to his skills upgrading. Having to support his family, he worked full time nights, but this never got in the way of him working towards his goal. He faithfully attended his daytime classes, no matter how exhausted he was.
Imagine the sense of accomplishment and pride he felt the day he was able to write and send an email to his daughter; the day he could read a newspaper article and understand it; the day he was able to complete basic math independently. These are some of the skills Chris has gained by coming to TLG. Perhaps the most important thing he gained, though, was his confidence and the belief of what he can do and accomplish in the future.
Chris is continuing his educational journey and is working in credit programs at St. Louis Adult Learning & Education Centres to earn his high school diploma. From there, he plans to complete an apprenticeship and become a Heavy Machine Operator. Chris has advice for others beginning their journey at TLG. He says, “No matter what your age is or where in your life you are, don’t be afraid to start again, to move on to better things!”
A note from Chris’ current teacher at St. Louis:
When I met Chris just over two years ago, he was very quiet and difficult to understand. His reading and writing skills needed to improve in order for him to reach his goal of a grade 12 diploma. Chris is an extremely hard working, motivated person and within his last two years at TLG, he has improved all his skills: reading, writing, numeracy and computer. He is now working at Core Essentials at St. Louis Adult Learning & Education Centres on further upgrading his skills in order to start taking credit classes. Chris’ improvement across the board is a direct result of his great attendance, hard-work and dedication to his learning. He has been working on his upgrading while working nights full-time and you can see the exhaustion – but he continues to push himself towards his goal. Chris’ ultimate goal is an apprenticeship at college and I have no doubt that in a few years, when he has obtained his OSSD, he will be there!
Chris’s story in his own words