As a young man I made some bad decisions that kept me from moving forward with my life. I started down the wrong path at an early age when I dropped out of school and got involved with drugs. I lived with addictions, poverty and was stuck in a bad place for many years. I tried to get my grade 12 several times but failed. Finally, at 58 I realized I had to make some big changes in my life but was faced with challenges when I tried to move forward. I couldn’t get a good job because I had no education. I couldn’t pay for education because I had no income.
Luckily, I found out about a place where I might be able to get the education I needed and it wouldn’t cost me anything. I met with the staff at Thunder Bay Literacy Group and through their United Way funded program, they helped me plan out what I needed to do to finally get my grade 12. They provided me with the support that helped me gain the confidence and inspiration to work hard and get through all the required courses I needed. It wasn’t easy, but I felt I was finally on the right track. I got my grade 12, found work and have started evening classes at the college. People tell me I am an inspiration to others but I tell them it was finding the right place and support that finally allowed me to reach towards my dreams.