Confidence: A Key to Success

Andrea discusses how participating in the SWAF program, including earning Cooperative Education credits helped to build her confidence.

Andrea SMy desire to complete my high school diploma was never greater than after my daughter was born – I wanted to set a good example for her. I needed a way to reach my goal while still being able to work full time to support my family. The SWAF program was recommended to me and I realized that was exactly what I needed.

The biggest challenges I faced in this process were my confidence and time. It had been a while since I was in school and I wasn’t sure if I would be successful. When I first started, it was really hard to manage my time. The SWAF teachers were flexible and understanding about the demands of being a new parent and a student at the same time. With the help and support of my teachers, I always knew that I could complete my diploma and achieve my goal.

My employer, Shearer’s Foods, was very supportive of me. Cooperative Education was an important part of my SWAF journey. With each Co-op visit, my confidence grew along with my ability to communicate and demonstrate my skills and knowledge I have about my job. I will never forget the paystub assignment as it allowed me to learn more about the different deductions. I still have the definitions for each deduction written down at home. In particular, I learned more about my pension contribution options and I ended up increasing my contribution to put more money away for retirement.

Completing my Ontario Secondary School Diploma gave me the confidence to apply for and earn a promotion.

This new position has a lot more responsibility and it is definitely a challenge, but I knew I could do it. I want to keep learning and growing, so my sights are now set on getting my driver’s license and eventually starting college courses once my daughter is in school.

Accomplishing one goal makes me feel like another goal is achievable.