Jonathan, now 22, dropped out of school in his mid-teens. Traumatized by the suicide of his father, he could no longer cope with the demands of high school. He left school and spiraled into homelessness soon afterwards.
When youth who have been homeless are ready to continue their education, they’re often beyond the age to go back to high school. To give young people a better chance at continuing their education, we opened an on-site adult education program for youth 21 to 24 as a complement to our high school program that serves youth up to 21.
These older students are often highly engaged and enthusiastic because they have overcome many of the challenges they had as younger kids and gained more maturity. Attending school is their choice and they have learned its value.
“Seeing that these young people are so motivated helps me do a better job,” says Jessica Marques, our new adult education teacher. “They are at a place where they can take this on and it’s very rewarding to work with them.”
When Jonathan came to us, he first found help in our health care clinic for his depression and anxiety. Ready to get his life on track, he saw that his job prospects were slim without a diploma. We were delighted to offer him our new adult education program.
In the program which began last fall, Jonathan is working hard to get the last two credits he needs for his Grade 12 diploma and hopes to find an entry-level job where he can learn the ropes.