A 37-year-old hockey dad from Collette says returning to school is one of the most important decisions he ever made.
Johnny Martin graduated from the Rogersville upgrading class – now known as the Apprentissage Adulte – Miramichi Adult Learning Inc. – in 2006 with his GED high school equivalency. Since then he furthered education at CCNB Dieppe and is now working at a great job in his field at Bremner Farms Ltd. in Napan.
“I don’t feel like a hero, but now I feel equal. For me, that is more important,” says Martin.
“Being able to read to the kids and understand what I read is the best feeling I ever had, thanks to my wife for the support. Like my late father used to say, ‘Education is not hard to carry and it always opens a door’.”
Martin and his wife, Gisèle, have three sons: Richard, 14, Luc, 11 and Justin, 8. All three play hockey, and they have plenty of support. Martin has been involved with the Rogersville Minor Hockey Association for the past four years. He became president two years ago.
“GED gave me the confidence to be president. I would never accept to have done it in the past,” he said.
As Martin reflects on his achievements, he also remembers the past and why he became a school dropout.
“I had difficulty in reading and writing and, at the time, there was not a lot of help for people with problems reading, so I was behind from Grade 1. I dropped out in Grade 9. There were jobs everywhere so I went to work.”
Martin worked for several years, then developed back problems and had to quit.
“I decided to go back to school, so nothing could stop me from going forward and doing what I want to do.”
“The Miramichi Adult Learning program works really well, especially with the help I got from the teachers, especially Noella. The support they gave me . made me feel good. Now, I have more confidence in myself. When I graduated in 2006, my family was very happy for me.”
So were instructors Noella Maillet and Nicole A. LeBlanc.
“As teachers, we can see the growth of the students not only in their marks, but in their eyes,” says Maillet.
LeBlanc agrees. “Coming to class, making new friends, seeing that they can achieve their goals has given them a lot of self-confidence.”
The GED upgrading and literacy program started in Rogersville in 1991. “About four years ago, another teacher was hired so that we now have two classes,” said LeBlanc. Accommodations are shared with a class from NBCC Miramichi.
“Because the school was close, it was easier to go back,” Martin said. “I really love that it was in French.
“I’m taking a course now (in Dieppe) in warehouse management, computer, supervisor and forklift operator. It is the type of work I always wanted to do, and now I have the education to do it.
“The boys think it is kind of funny for me to go back to school. But they are willing to try more when they do their homework because I have to do mine, too,” he said.
“They know you have to study, if you want successful marks.”
Anyone interested in going back to school to get their GED, can call Miramichi Regional Literacy Coordinator Ann Morrissy at 778-5261. The Community Adult Learning Program is an initiative of Miramichi Adult Learning Inc. and the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.
Wed Dec 12 2007