Filled with apprehension and hope, at 35 years old, Charlotte Paul decided to return to the classroom.
After leaving high school at the age of 16 to raise her oldest son, she discovered the only way to a better life was to better herself.
“It was time for me to start a new chapter,” said Ms. Paul. “I was ready to put myself first.”
In 2012, with the support and encouragement of her three children and her partner, Ms. Paul took the plunge and registered at the Kings County Adult High School in New Minas.
On June 26, Ms. Paul will join more than 700 other adults from across the province who are graduating from the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning.
“My boyfriend, my kids, and my teachers have all supported me throughout this journey,” said Ms. Paul. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been frustrated at times, saying I can’t do this but, they believed in me and helped me to find the confidence I needed.
“They continued to motivate me because they genuinely cared about my success. Everyone needs a little push sometimes, but as long as you have a good support network, and perseverance is present, anyone can do it.”
The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), regional school boards, Universite Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations offers more than 150 tuition-free programs across the province. The programs help Nova Scotians prepare for good jobs, more school or training, and improve their literacy.
When asked what she has taken away from this experience, Ms. Paul’s eyes glistened with joy.
“This program has changed my life. I feel like I’ve accomplished something I never thought I could. My life is more positive and I’m a happier person.”
She plans to take the social services program at the NSCC Kingstec campus in September. “I want to help others, like they have helped me,” she said.
“Ms. Paul has shown what you can accomplish with a little encouragement and lots of determination,” said Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan. “She’s become a great role model for her children and a confident woman well within reach of her dream.
“I’d like to congratulate all of this year’s graduates on their accomplishments. You did it!”
More than 6,500 Nova Scotians have received high school diplomas through the program since it began in 2001. For more information call 1-877-go-NSSAL (1-877-466-7725) or visit http://www.goNSSAL.ca .