Jason and Lori graduate with their proud daughters and niece present.
“My experience at Wheable has been challenging and also inspirational,” says Jason who left high school as a teenager because he and his partner, Lori Nicholas, 31, had their first baby together.
“The teachers there are great. If the teachers didn’t help me out the way that they have, I probably would have dropped out again.”
Lori returned to Wheable with Jason and the couple accomplished more than each expected. Lori was selected to be Valedictorian and Jason received the Stephenson Award, which is granted to a student who has shown outstanding academic performance.
“I worked extremely hard to achieve high marks to graduate and overcame a number of personal challenges,” Jason admits.
When Lori learned she had been chosen by her peers to be Valedictorian, she felt overwhelmed and extremely proud. “I now know it takes courage and strength to go back to school as an adult and I strongly suggest everyone should give it a try.”
Both students took their education seriously. As an adult learner, Jason brought a different approach to earning his final credits than he had as a teenager. “I treat my education as a full-time job. That made a huge difference in my focus. And, the working skills that I’ve picked up along the way have helped me immensely,” Jason says.
As a First Nations student, from Kettle and Stony Point First Nations, Jason says Native traditions are important to him. “The ceremonies keep me grounded and give me the positive outlook that I need to follow through and finish my education.”
Jason and Lori will be attending Western University in September. Jason will study Native studies, psychology and criminology with the goal of working with youth in the criminal justice system and in the schools. Lori is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in management and organizational studies and hopes to become a chartered general accountant.
Jason says he is grateful to the Wheable staff and administration for helping he and Lori to graduate.
“If you put in the work and you’re there every day then … the principal, teachers and counsellors will do everything they can to help you succeed as long as you’re serious about your goals.”
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Congratulations and best wishes to all grads!
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