What will tomorrow bring? Many of us love planning for the future; we get excited about vacations, job opportunities, or buying a house. Unfortunately this joy is not shared by all. The fear of high school can be crippling for those who struggle with learning disabilities. Will I pass my classes? Am I able to graduate? Will I be lost in the crowd? While most kids get excited about the transition to a bigger school those struggling with learning disabilities wonder if they will even make it through lunch.
Curtis, an alumnus student of James Cameron School, struggles with a learning disability, but Curtis worked hard and succeeded. There is always hope and Curtis at the age of nineteen was given the opportunity to present hope to those who were worrying about high school. Curtis came to visit his previous tutor at James Cameron School and found himself in the grade seven classroom where students, who were just like him, were given the chance to ask him about what life was like after they left the safety and security of JCS.
“What was the hardest test you had in high school?” was one of the questions Curtis was given. Tests can bring anxiety and the idea of studying can at times be overwhelming.
“My English 12 exam. I had extra time though and passed,” was how Curtis replied. Imagine how much peace this answer would bring those who struggle with writing tests. Curtis is someone who they can relate with, if he could pass then so could they!
“Were there bullies there?” another child asked in regards to high school.
“There are bullies everywhere Bud. You just have to ignore them and pick our friends wisely,” Curtis explained.
Another child asked, “What were you worried about in grade 7 that turned out to be nothing once you got to high school?”
“I was worried that I wouldn’t know anyone, but making friends was easy. The hardest thing for me was figuring out what to wear after nine years of wearing a uniform!” What a relief to hear that the biggest struggle had to do with the wardrobe and not grades.
Next was asked of him, “do you work?” a question of success.
“Yes,” Curtis replied, “at Canadian Tire as an auto mechanic. They are going to pay for my apprenticeship program at BCIT.” Not only did Curtis make it through the scary years of high school, but he was also successful enough in his field of work that they were willing to pay for his post secondary education.
Thank you Curtis for taking the time to encourage the students of James Cameron School. High school might look scary, but as Curtis showed the grade seven class it is doable and every one of them can succeed.
By Jenna Wiersma