March 15, 2004
The following story was written by Thiry Kacuiba, from Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Thiry had a very negative public school experience and at the age of 18, having achieved Grade 9, she gave up and entered the real world. She had always wondered why she was so different from the rest of her family and why building positive relationships with other people was always a struggle. She also suffered from mood swings and low self-esteem.
In order to improve her vocabulary and her ability to communicate with other people, Thiry participated in Toastmasters for six years. She also took courses in accounting and clerical work to improve her education. Thiry was also able to find steady employment making drapes, and later, driving a bus for the local city transit system. However, she always had a strong desire to complete her grade twelve. At the age of fifty-two, she finally realized her dream. Thiry's story about her journey to fulfilling this dream follows:
I would like to thank the Parkland Regional College in Yorkton, Sask. For all their help in proceeding to reach my goal. On June 9, 2002 my long-time dream finally came true.
My desire, years ago, was to receive my grade 12. I looked for all different angles on how to get it. When I came to Yorkton, I finally found my source, "Parkland Regional College". The people here were so helpful, and they gave me encouragement to pursue my dream. Bernadette Holland, Learning Specialist, was the first person. She took the time in giving me all the proper testings. I was in shock at what I found out. It took time to accept it but I came to grips with the fact that I would have to cope with a learning disability. The answer to the question that I've been asking myself has finally surfaced after all these years.
The second person was Roshan Hemani, the Project Coordinator. This organization supported me through all different stages and challenges.
First, I attended the Bridging Program to upgrade or get used to subjects and attending school. In between this, I attended the Learning Centre Lab program for more assistance. After this step, I was matched with a tutor. She was with me for about a year. However, she received a new night job, so she had to discontinue tutoring. Roshan Hemani, through the Literacy Program, found another tutor, Kathern Swehla. She was my mentor. We worked close knit, as a good team. Through Kathern's commitment and support and encouragement she gave me belief in myself and helped me tremendously. Having a goal that I have struggled through and having some down falls was all worth the effort. That spring Kathern Swehla received top award for the most hours put in by a volunteer tutor for the year at Parkland Regional College. She helped me every chance she could and she well deserved the award.
To help myself to understand my life and what I was going through, I was also introduced to a support program that was facilitated by Linda Spracklin-Cross, who was running the support group for Parkland Regional College. This team plus others at Parkland Regional College, Gerry Yacishyn, Carol Bobowski, Sandy Persick and Bobbi-Jo Drosky all helped me to get where I am today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them. A special thanks to my tutor and my friend, who went out of her way to make my dream come true and find the answer to my question.
All of this would not have happened without the encouragement and support of this team, "the Parkland Regional College in Yorkton, Saskatchewan". Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
[This story was taken with permission, from the Parkland Regional College - Literacy Services website, under Submitted Writings.]