Canada’s Premiers Announce 2016 Literacy Award Recipients

Jean-Charles Richard – New Brunswick
Jean-Charles Richard left school in 1999 after completing Grade 9. He tried twice, unsuccessfully, to go back to school. For a number of years, he dreamt of a fulfilling job, better salary, and better quality of life. In 2015, 16 years after his first attempt, Richard entered an adult education class in Edmundston. Motivated and encouraged by his teacher who believed in him, he completed Level 2 and his GED preparation in one year. In February 2016, he passed his GED on the first attempt. Since then Richard has completed two math courses, and he began network and computer security training at the CCNB in Edmundston in September 2016, which is a dream come true for him.

Evelyn Lewis – Newfoundland and Labrador
Originally from Nain, Labrador, Evelyn Lewis left school in Grade 10 without her high school diploma. Thirty-eight years later she enrolled in the provincial Adult Basic Education (ABE) program in St. John’s. Lewis has completed ABE Level III and is considering post-secondary education in the near future. Her experience in an ABE program has helped her overcome many obstacles including social anxiety and the bullying she experienced while growing up. This has translated into increased self- confidence, academic success, and willingness to help others. She is considered a role model by many of her peers.

Archie Laroque – Northwest Territories
Archie Laroque is a Dene man residing in the community of Fort Smith, in the Northwest Territories. Having left school at a young age, Laroque faced many hardships due to his lack of education. After more than thirty years away it was a challenge for him to return to school to become an adult learner, as a mature man with a family. Laroque’s persistence, desire to achieve mastery in all subjects and dedication to his studies have all contributed to an impressive improvement in his literacy skills and his academic success. He is a role model for his fellow students who regularly seek him out for help with their learning.

Michael Hajnal – Nova Scotia
Michael Hajnal’s life has been anything but easy, experiencing both addiction and mental health issues, but over 30 years out of school did not deter him from getting a high school diploma. His courage to confront issues has helped him share those experiences with others. He exhibits compassion for his peers and actively listens, leading to a healthier lifestyle. Hajnal has grown intellectually and academically and he is described by his instructors as hardworking, thoughtful, committed, and kind with a value for education. Volunteer work and self-confidence have helped Hajnal develop what he describes as a buffet mentality – choosing ideals that fit within his current ideology, yet allowing him to change with the times. Hajnal graduated in June 2016 earning the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults with a view to study at the Electrical Construction Program at NSCC’s Waterfront Campus.