Darlene is a student in a youth literacy program in a high-needs neighbourhood of Toronto. The program prepares young adults who have not graduated from secondary school to write the GED (General Education Development) test.
At the age of 17, Darlene was a high school dropout and a new mother. Although she kept trying to get back to school and back on her feet, life wasn't letting her. When her son was diagnosed with autism, she had to drop out of a pre-program at Humber College. Devoting all her time to his special needs and without a high school diploma, the only jobs she could find were low-paying service jobs.
Eventually, Darlene applied to college only to face an educational roadblock. She needed her GED (General Educational Development) certification.
She found out about the Frontier College GED and Literacy Upgrade Program, offered in partnership with JVS Toronto's flagship youth program, Youthinc, located in the Jane Finch community.
“My [Frontier College] instructors wouldn't let me entertain the idea of failing and they gave me the resources to be successful. The studying techniques they showed me really helped me achieve my goals at the end of the course”. Thanks to their support, Darlene scored in the 96th percentile.
Darlene says without the program she would still be working in retail, earning minimum wage, unable to care for her son. With her newfound confidence, Darlene plans to graduate from the Medical Administrative Program at a local college within months and then hopes to study journalism part-time.
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