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My SWAF Story – Rosalie

Rosalie shares her story of achieving her goal of earning her Ontario Secondary School Diploma through the SWAF program

One day in the summer of 2015 I saw an ad for an education program in the lunchroom at Quadrad and I knew my journey with School Within A Factory (SWAF) was about to begin. I always knew that I wanted to attend school in Canada, but I didn’t know if it would fit with my work schedule and my life. I had already completed my high school diploma and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the Philippines, but I knew earning an Ontario Secondary School Diploma would be another asset. In September of that year, I found myself sitting next to Jennifer Watson, the lead SWAF teacher, discussing the program, my background and goals, and registration requirements. I was officially a SWAF student.

The independent learning courses allowed me to work at my own pace and on my own time, and I always knew that the teachers were there to help me if I needed them. SWAF’s flexible structure allowed me to keep my full-time job, which was very important to me. I was dedicated to school and work but, at some point, I lost momentum. I procrastinated on my lessons and I fell off the wagon. I met with my teachers to discuss options, and with their encouragement I knew I could achieve my goal.

With my commitment and persistence, along with the assistance of my teachers, I have achieved my goal – I have earned my Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Although my journey took me a bit longer than anticipated, I am proud of everything that I have done. The courses were challenging, but I learned so much. I was able to work on lessons independently, but if I was stumped, for instance on a math question, I could call or text Jennifer to ask a quick question. If I needed more assistance I would come into the classroom and work with her until I understood it, and then go back to working on my own. Knowing that I had a classroom and teachers to help me, if and when I needed it, was the confidence-boost that I needed to finish my courses. Sometimes, I needed to have a concept explained to me in a different way so that I could remember what I had learned all those years ago – like pesky quadratics!

My experience at SWAF showed me that with hard work and dedication it is always possible to achieve your goals. I now have my eyes set on the trades.

With my diploma in hand, I have the ability to get into any trades program that will one day help me advance my career in that, or any, industry.

I would like to thank my teachers who have been with me throughout this journey. Thank you for your help, support, and encouragement. I would also like to thank Linamar Corporation for donating the space to make this incredible program happen. To all of the people involved in this project, thank you. SWAF is a community where people are learning and growing, and I am so grateful for my time and experiences in this program.

SWAF Rosalie Samson