[pullquote align="right"]Whenever I had problems at home, I wouldn’t feel like going to school…[/pullquote]
Remembering my years in school is like a nightmare all over again. Even though I was capable in reading and math, the traditional school system just wasn’t right for me.

There were many different roadblocks that I encountered through grades six to nine. The main thing was that I had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and wasn’t being medicated. So when the time came for me to stay put in classes, I would become restless. When that happened, I’d find something to occupy myself. Many times, this would disrupt the other students because the teacher had to stop teaching the class to try to put me in line.

Another contributing factor to my struggles at school was my home situation. I had a difficult time trying to keep them both separated. So, whenever I had problems at home, I wouldn’t feel like going to school and would skip off. That was only making things worse for me in the long run. When I would get called to see the Guidance Counselor about it, she seemed to always make things worse for me. The next day, it started all over again.

What helped me get through all that was reading. Every time I felt upset or felt as though I just couldn’t get ahead, I’d pick up a book. It was like I was there in the story, watching it play out as I read. My self-esteem would be so much better; I knew I could get through all of my troubles.

For the last year and a half, I have been involved in an educational upgrading program that Choices for Youth connected me to called Youth at Promise , put on by Thrive-Community Youth Network St. John’s . It is for people who need to get up to speed in their studies so they can go back to school and be successful. Also, I have been a participant in a Skills Link Canada program called Youth Are Working, run by Waypoints . We were partnered with Gonzaga High School so that the participants could complete the same Career Pathways course that they teach in that school. And, as a result of that, for the first time in Canada, we were all awarded four high school credits upon completion of the program.

All of my accomplishments have given me the confidence to go back to school. As of today, I am on the waiting list at the College of The North Atlantic. I am going so that I can complete my high school. I am enrolling in the Adult Basic Education (A.B.E.) Course at level III.

I know that this time, I am fully prepared and I have the confidence to succeed. I know now that I can do it! And if I can, so can anyone else.

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To Those Who Gave Me More Than a Chance
A poem by Ivan Snow

To those who gave me more than a chance
My heart and soul could never fully extend the gratitude
For all of those who put up with my colourful attitude,
All those times I was so cruel and rude,
Thanks for seeing through the pain and the hurt
Even for simple things such as food or a shirt.

So much kindness and generosity thrown my way,
This is my thank you.
My eyes have opened,
My insight with you,
Your insight with me.

Thank you for making me a man;
Making me see life is what you make it,
To see an opportunity and take it.
Forever grateful for the chance to enhance,
Thank you to those who gave me more than a chance.