Beyond Her Wildest Dreams

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Image of dark haired woman smiling.

Life hasn’t always been easy for Candus Johnston but living with a permanent disability taught her to never give up.  So as a single mom of two young children, she decided to go back to school.  In order to meet the prerequisites of most programs, however, she needed to improve her English 12 grade.

Candus enrolled in English 090 through the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program at College of the Rockies as an online student.  With two young children at home, she found it difficult sometimes to get the time she needed to focus and would come in to the classroom for a quiet place to study.  Her instructor, Sharon, suggested she switch to the directed studies section of the course and work in the classroom a few times per week.

The switch was exactly what Candus needed and the support that she received from Sharon helped her to complete her English 090 with an A-.  Candus cannot say enough about the kindness and help she received in the course and found completing her English course bittersweet as she was sad to lose her regular connection to Sharon.  “She is an amazing person,” Candus gushes.

Having completed her prerequisite, Candus was accepted into the Human Service Worker program and feels like it is the perfect fit.

“I hadn’t ever considered a career in human services but as a person with a permanent disability, I have life experiences that fit well with this area of work,” she notes.  “I like to help people and make a difference in their lives so taking the Human Service Worker program makes a lot of sense.”

When talking about her time at the College, Candus cannot say enough about what the experience has done for her.  Her success in the ABE program led to a whole new level of confidence that spilled over into the Human Service Worker program.  She is now an honours student.  After completing the Human Service Worker certificate program she plans to move on to the diploma and, eventually, to complete a Bachelor degree in Social Work.

She would recommend the ABE program to anyone who needs to complete high school or to improve their grades to meet prerequisites for other programs.

“If you have to attend school part time because of work or other obligations, just do it.  I am working toward a career I will love and won’t be stuck in a job I hate because of the opportunities the ABE program provided to me,” she says.

“I never expected to be an honour roll student; I certainly wasn’t one in high school.  As a person with a permanent disability who is a single mom to two children, I am proof that returning to school really is doable for anyone.”