PGI Canada Learner Award Winner 2016: CanLearn Society

Nguissaly Sylla (Sally) is a learner who demonstrates how improving foundational skills can change your life. Sally came from Senegal in 2009. When Sally arrived she did not speak any English, making it hard to cope with the tasks of everyday life. Her husband worked long hours so she felt lonely and isolated, and she missed her family back home. On top of this, her immigration status kept her from enrolling in courses. In 2013 the immigration issues were dealt with and the door to learning opened. Sally’s learning journey started with LINC courses, and then high school upgrading. Like many things in life, a learning journey is never smooth. There are always bumps in the road. In Sally’s case, the bump was a Biology 10 course. The bump started resembling Mount Everest when her learning difficulties became intertwined with trying to make ends meet. It was at this point that Sally enrolled in CanLearn’s Taking Charge program. Taking Charge aims to help adult learners develop their self-determination, attitudes, and knowledge while building their basic literacy skills. The program is delivered in small groups and individually. Sally took part in both components of the program. Through the one-on-one support of a retired teacher, Sally was able to successfully complete her Biology 10 course. Sally also learned how to build a resume and started to look for employment. Sally has strengthened her confidence, found a job and built the skills that she needed to continue pursuing her education. She is following her dream of having a career in health care.

“This has been a wonderful experience for me and my family. It has opened up many doors for me, not only on the outside, but also within me.” I encourage anyone I know, young or old, not to be afraid learn.” Sally

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