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November 14, 2005

photo of Stella Bonin

This story was written by Stella Bonin, from Hilden, Nova Scotia. Stella is enrolled in literacy classes at Colchester Adult Learning Association (CALA).

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by Stella Bonin

My name is Stella Bonin, I am 36 years old and I live in Hilden, Nova Scotia with my husband and two children. I have been married for 14 years and I have a son almost 14 and a daughter 12.

I decided to go back to school this year for several reasons; to better myself, for my family to be proud of me, I wanted a grade 12 diploma, but I feel probably the biggest reason other than the fact that I wanted to become something more, was for my children.

I have both children in junior high this year and it is hard enough to keep your kids in school rather than them quitting and wanting to work or maybe they have just taken the wrong path in life and decided to leave school before graduating.

I remember one day my son said "I think I'll quit school when I'm sixteen and get a job". I said "oh no you're not, you will stay in school and graduate so, you can become something". He looked me straight in the face and said "why"? "you didn't". I will never forget the way I felt that day as long as I live. I felt hurt, angry, embarrassed, ashamed, but mostly I felt helpless, because he was right. How could I lecture him about the importance of staying in school and getting that diploma if I didn't. Sure, I can tell him not to make the same mistake I did. But, would he listen to that? No! So, that's when I realized that going back to school was something I had to do.

I am hoping that by him watching me everyday trying to keep a family going, run a house, got to school and work a job he will realize that his best bet is to stay in school and graduate while he has the chance. If not, I can guarantee you he will have one hell of a battle with me. If there is one piece of advice I can give anyone it is to stay in school and get your education, because without it you won't get far in this life.

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