39 Reasons: Reason#8 I Graduated

This story is among the #39Reasons I am running as a Trustee for Vancouver School Board (VSB). Each story is based on my experience working at the VSB for over 7 years with CUPE and PASA.

I met him wearing skinny jeans bouncing a basketball on the court beside the school

He was friendly and would go out of his way to pause his layups to say hi, even to an educator after hours

He was confident, eager, focused and well-rounded - he took courses that interested him, attended classes as required, and had a healthy involvement in sports

He worked towards the 80 credits required to graduate and was eager to finish high school and eventually start college

Just as confidently as he made hoops, he crossed the stage, papers in hand and his hat in the air

The astute and studious person he was, he set up an appointment with an advisor at his chosen college

Crushed, he learned that his Evergreen Certificate was not the same as a Dogwood Diploma and that neither were the same as the requirements to access higher education

I knew at that moment what had happened

He didn’t have someone to guide him through the differences between completing high school, graduating high school and entering post-secondary

Maybe with more time discuss and share his goals, and review his credits, he wouldn’t be upgrading in a self-paced program right now

Maybe if we had the capacity to reach out to a seemingly on-track student, he would have been better-informed

The recent cuts to support staff make grave assumptions about students and I worry about the impact this will have on all students no matter how on or off track they may seem, they would all have a chance at guidance


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