Archive for Award Winners

Jon Adams wins Literacy Nova Scotia’s 2015 Adult Learners’ Week Award in the Work Activity Category


How Learning has Changed My Life
Jon Adams – Options Work Activity Program

Until fairly recently, education didn’t matter much to me. I did little more than what was necessary to graduate from high school. After a few years I had forgotten almost everything I learned in school. A calculator was all I needed for math; I couldn’t even remember how to borrow when subtracting. Even those who seemed intelligent to me were lacking in math skills, so I saw no reason to do anything about my problem.

Shortly after starting the Options Work Activity Program, education started to grow on me. This is partly due to upgrading instructors with real passion for what they do. Also, I had grown up a little. Eventually I wanted to take in all I could in the time available. Math became my favorite class. It was the perfect end to my work week in the second phase of the program. It’s very hands-on, appealing to my analytical mind and as an added bonus it is useful for my vintage television repair hobby. By the time the upgrading classes ended, I had a fairly solid grip on whole number operations. My overall math score on Canadian Adult Achievement Test had reached post high school.

I didn’t want to just stop it all, but I couldn’t continue learning new math operations without instruction, so I continued working on my chosen science series in my spare time. Rather than try to choose a concentration I chose a series with a little bit of everything. I don’t just read the material; I study it with the hope of not having to refer to it when answering the questions. Doing it any other way would be pointless. Even though this is not my preferred learning style and the earlier units were more interesting, I’m dedicated to finishing.

For my work option, I chose customer service. In my opinion, it is the most valuable work option offered. I’m passionate about serving others, but was severely lacking in experience and knowledge of how to properly deal with others. The instruction delivered by my highly competent facilitator along with my work experience helping with deliveries to grocery stores has helped me get started on the road to becoming the kind of person I really want to be. As long as I do my best to keep walking tall, I will be successful.

I will continue to seek out new learning opportunities. Most importantly, I must study and practice what I’m passionate about. Any piece of paper that says I have completed a course only means that the foundation has been placed. I must continue to practice and apply whatever I learn to get the full benefit. If I choose to get more formal education, I will likely start with the Academic and Career Connections program at Nova Scotia Community College. Their science for technology offering looks most appealing to me.

Posted in: Award Winners, Popular Links

Leave a Comment (0) →

Mahnaz Musawi wins the 2015 Literacy NS Adult Learning Week Essay Contest Award in the English as a Second Language Category.


How Learning Changed My Life
Mahnaz Musawi – Cunard Learning Centre

I am twenty years old. I am student at the Cunard Learning Centre. My nationality is Afghani, but I was born in Iran.

My grandparents moved to Iran thirty- six years ago to study and get an education for their children. Also, they wanted to get a job and earn a little money, but they couldn’t. They thought when they moved to Iran it would be a good country for them, but it was not. After a while, they had some problems. First of all, Iran’s government didn’t permit them to study. Afghan people had to pay a lot of money for school, for every grade, for books, and school insurance. Some of them could pay this money, but some of them couldn’t.

I started school when I was seven, but when I was nine I had to stop because my dad couldn’t pay. My dad was a labourer. I cried a lot. But my dad worked very hard and earned the money for me to go back to school. I loved to study and get an education. I went to school every year and it was very expensive. Finally, I finished grade 11 with difficulty and after that I didn’t go to school because I didn’t have a lot of money to pay. Also, my brother and sister didn’t go too.

One month later, I was looking to find a job. I went to the every store, but they didn’t accept me because I didn’t have a high school diploma and also because I was Afghani. I became sad and angry. I asked myself why they didn’t accept me because I was Afghani. I am a human like another person. I am a girl who lives in Iran. But Iranian people didn’t know this. They treated us badly.

In 2012, I married and I came to Canada. On the first day, I asked some questions of my husband about education here. He told me everything is good here. Everyone can study because there is no difference between you and another person. I became happy when I heard this. I started my school on November 10, 2013 at the Immigrants Services Association of Nova Scotia or ISANS. In the ISANS, my teacher helped me very much. When I didn’t understand he explained it to me very well. And, he told me it is never too late to learn and return to school and get an education. Also, it is never too late to change direction in your life. He told me, you can study at any time. I learned the alphabet for one week.

After one month, I came to the Adult Learning Program to complete my grade 12 and get my high school diploma. Adult Learning has given me many skills. I need to continue my education. Also, adult learning has made me believe that everything is possible. And, have given me the opportunity to do the best in my life. Learning lets me give something back to my community. Age is not important. I can see the sun shining on all of my goals in the future. My teachers made me a more confident person. In addition, they encouraged me to study more.

I am now working in a store to save a little money for university in the future. I will go to the NSCC this September. I wish to become a pharmacist in Canada.

I love Canada because I can study. I am like another person in Canada now. I wish to have an education for every child in the world because education and learning change our lives very much. Also, it helps us to become independent people. I got a lot of experience to live better for myself and my family. I now feel more confident in everything I do. Thank you for your kind attention.

Posted in: Award Winners, Popular Links

Leave a Comment (0) →

Mamawa Kamara 2014 ESL, Seniors & Family Literacy Category Winner, Literacy NS Adult Learner’s Week Essay Contest

Prior to coming to Canada in 2009, I did not know how to read or write English. I strongly believe that there were two good reasons that contributed to my illiteracy. First, the traditional African beliefs or norms that are generally accepted in my tribes and second, the 17 year civil war that took place in my country, Liberia.

It is important to point out that I grew up as a little girl born by Muslim parents who were poor and illiterate famers living in the rural Liberian village were called Ganta city. They did not send me to school due to their poor economic conditions because they could not afford to pay my school fees. However, the traditional belief that is widely accepted within my tribes also seriously affected my education. There are many traditional beliefs that exist in Liberia. However, the most visible is the one where many families give responsibilities to their members based on gender and what each is physically capable of doing. For instance, boys or men are considered to be strong both physically and mentally, to withstand pressure and achieve success in economic activities. Girls and women are considered to be weak and do not have the ability required to make useful decisions for themselves or the family. For this reason, parents are not encouraged to send or sponsor their girl children to school and do not engage them into any major trade or business activities. Instead they are required to stay at home and perform home works such as cooking, washing clothes, cleaning and to taking care of our young ones. This is simply because of the widely accepted traditional belief which assumed that girls are unable to repay the money their parents invested into their education and interestingly, the belief that girls and their riches belong to their husband and his family. Unfortunately for me, my parents, who grew up in such community, did practice this norm and, as a result, they did not send me to school. Secondly, as a teenager growing up, I clearly noticed that something was missing in my life, which was education, because I always used to see my age mates going to school every morning. Although I noticed this empty space in my life, I had the fate to attend school one day and become an independent woman. Once again this dream of mine did not come true as a result of the civil war that lasted for 17 years in my country. However, all of my dreams actually came true when I arrived in Canada.

Like most immigrants, when I arrived in Canada, the living condition for me as a single mother was very challenging as a result of my illiteracy. Since I did not know how to read or write, I couldn’t read my mail like bank information, letters from my kid’s school, and I couldn’t read the prices on food in places like Sobeys and Shoppers. It was most difficult for me to find my way through the city of Halifax and understand the metro bus system. However, I can first thank God and the Cunard Learning Centre today that I can proudly read and write, read my mail and letters from kids schools, travel anywhere within the city of Halifax and even travel to other provinces without assistance. Cunard Learning Centre has enabled me to not only read and write, it has also given me the ability to tutor my kids, work and send money to my family and friends back in Africa. I also have the confidence to further my education, become independent and be a better single mother. The CLC has made me to believe that everything is possible and the sky is my limit.

Posted in: Award Winners

Leave a Comment (0) →

Rukhsora Sangova 2013 ESL, Seniors & Family Literacy Category Winner, Literacy NS Adult Learner’s Week Essay Contest

My Life Experience in Canada –  Rukhsora Sangova 

Life is a struggle. It is complicated. Life is challenging. Life is to build. It is accomplishing something. Life is a journey. My life was this, but it is much more.

My name is Rukhsora Sangova. I am from Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I am married, and I have four children. My journey started in 2005.

August 25, 2005 I came to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I left my homeland with my family, friend, and my husband. He is from Afghanistan. He was a refuge in my home country. Because of the situation in Afghanistan, he can’t go back. Then the Canadian government accepted us as refugees. Coming to a new place, I was scared, sad, unhappy, and surprised.

I started school in 2005 at ISIS. I was in ISIS for two years. I learned that learning at ISIS is not enough for me. So I decided to stay home for a while.

Then, in 2011, I came to Cunard to continue my education. I heard lots about Cunard. I finally was accepted. When I was accepted at Cunard, my first goal was just get my high school diploma. Now my future goal is to be a home care nurse. During my first year I learned a lot of things. At Cunard the teachers made me a more confident person. They made me feel free. They encouraged me for many steps of life.

Because of Cunard, I did a presentation about Afghanistan to the Military families in the Resource Center. I did that presentation for Military families so they could know more about Afghanistan. I felt very happy, like I accomplished something in life. After that I opened an account for an Afghanistan children’s charity. Also, I opened a language class for Afghanistan children to know their language. On top of that, I also found a job as a lab technician. That is my first job in Canada. I work part-time. I’m very happy in my new job.

Now I still study at Cunard full-time and I work part-time. Also, I have four children to take care of and my husband. I’m a busy woman, but I`m happy.

Just remember life is a hill. Up and down. Sometimes on the hill you`ll want to end your journey. But get up and try again.

Posted in: Award Winners

Leave a Comment (0) →

Yodit Matewos 2012 ESL, Seniors & Family Literacy Category Winner, Literacy NS Adult Learner’s Week Essay Contest

Education – Yodit Matewos

My name is Yodit Matewos. I came to Canada in 2004. My childhood education was not good. The education system was bad because we started to learn English in grade 6, which is bad. In Canada my English is getting better; I can write and read. I still have writing problems but it is getting better since I started at Cunard Learning Center. When I was in school back home, I was not a good student because English was hard. I am not happy when I remember my childhood education. It was a waste of time for many years.

In 2000, my country’s situation was very bad and I went to Kenya. I lived in Kenya for 4 years. In Kenya I didn’t get a chance to go to school. In 2004, I came to Canada. After I came to Canada I started to work in housekeeping. At that time, finding work without English was very exciting for me but after a while it was depressing. I couldn’t communicate with anyone and I didn’t understand what my supervisor said. It was bad and really depressing as the years passed. Another thing that was depressing for me was when I had to ask people to help me fill out a form.

In 2010, I heard about Cunard. I started right away. I really liked it because many things came very easily. Now I can fill a form and applications. I am so happy and I always say, “Thank God for Cunard.” I have a lot of confidence when I am speaking now. Before I was afraid to speak because I didn’t know English and wasn’t confident. My teachers help my life become easy. I have a daughter in grade 1 at school. She needs help from me so I can help her now. I have a goal to get my high school diploma and take a course in nursing. I can do that and have confidence in myself. Finally, I want say thank you to the teachers at Cunard Learning Center.

Posted in: Award Winners

Leave a Comment (0) →