Many pathways to an education

Emmah - Dual Credit - Conestoga College -
Emmah – Dual Credit program at Conestoga College

A leader, something I never would’ve dared call myself when I first began high school. There was once a time when I couldn’t even walk into a classroom without being held back by my anxiety and depression. Thanks to the many alternative education programs I’ve been blessed to be a part of, I am no longer living a life of fear.

It all started with SAL (Supervised Alternative Learning) a program that many of my friends have been successful in, naturally, I figured it would be a good fit for me too (not to mention a big part of me was gravitating in whichever direction my closest friends seemed to be drifting). But I struggled to stay motivated after a long day of working, it was too much diligence for me to pull out a booklet and start working on something else.

Through SAL I was lucky enough to be introduced to April King who could see I was struggling to get work done. She told me about a program called Cadence which initially I was completely uninterested in going to. After going on a tour of the hope house. After speaking to a few friends of friends I decided to reconsider and took a leap of faith. I remember the first few weeks were the hardest, since all my mutual friends were graduated from Cadence I spent my lunch hour walking 20 minutes home then sitting in my room for 15 minutes then walking another 20 minutes back. As tough as it was I held out hope that I was doing the right thing. Before I knew it I was spending my weekends wishing I was in class with my Cadence family.

Being a Cadence student taught me about pushing your limits and being willing to make a positive change in your life. Cadence showed me how good can always come from bad. I chose to apply to SWAC [School Within a College] because I really enjoy cooking and being in Cadence prepared me to motivate myself more and get the booklets done on time. Getting to learn cooking from Chef Bruce was a great experience and I consider myself extremely luck to have had the opportunity. Without Alternative school programs like Dual Credit I can honestly say I don’t think I would’ve make it half this far. I will always carry the lessons I’ve learned from these programs and the lovely memories of the people I got to meet along the way.

Lastly, it was an absolute pleasure getting to spend my days in room A16, extra special thanks go out the Mrs. Kurylo for being her sunny self on the rainiest days.

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