How Learning Has Made a Difference in My Life by Joanna LeBlonc

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As a young girl I was very inquisitive and a little dare devil, destined to look for adventure. It took me two attempts at getting grade ten, failing all my public exams in grade eleven and giving up on school, from lack of interest.

I then decided, to go to community college to get a trade in “Sewing and Dressmaking”, while working part-time at Kentucky Fried Chicken to pay for course supplies. I couldn’t seem to commit to anything. My course being nine months, I gave up at six months to join the Canadian Armed Forces. I had a five year career as a cook, went to the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics twice for cooks courses and finally writing my interprovincial Red Seal at the University of Barrie, with an average of 71%.

From there, life changed. I got married, had two daughters, but still working as a civilian cook. Eventually, the government eliminated the civilian cooks position. I was forced to go into a cook’s assistant competition of 24 people, earning first place and getting a job at the Naval Officers Training Centre.

Finally in 1992 my family and I moved to Nova Scotia, transferring to the Stadacona Hospital. From there I went from job to job, never feeling fully satisfied that I didn’t finish school.

I gave up my last job to get my GED and found the Dartmouth Learning Network. I’ve never felt such self-satisfaction and am truly grateful for the teachers, tutors and volunteers at the centre.

I don’t know where I’ll go from here but I do realize now, how important an education is, and at 51 years of age, I’m never too old to learn.

Prosperity, gives all of us life’s rewards. If you focus on a goal, stay on that path and you will find success.

I feel no regret for my past, its taught me many lessons in life, and thanks to the Dartmouth Learning Network, my future can lead me in the right direction, taking with me all that I’ve learned, so now it’s up to me.

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