39Reasons: Reason#19 Braids

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.

There she was, her hair perfectly braided and bundled up like a crown upon her head

She was fourteen and reading at a grade 6 level after only 1 year of school in Canada, 4 years in a refugee camp and almost 10 years away from her home

“I like school and I was one of the top in my class at the camp”

She went on to say, “I am so behind here, I won’t graduate on time”

These were phrases she recited before piercing them with jokes about life, like gathering wood for fires and food – she always found a way to laugh

It was her last day at school, she had finished grade 10 and at 19 years old, she was ageing out

It turns out she was quite a gifted hair stylist and was sought after for her talent

She explored options

The connections to entrepreneurship development and training were costly and required a higher aptitude for business planning

One could access the required resources with more education and experience at her age

She found that the trades program was demanding a higher level of English than she had

Doors opened and closed 

Today she continues to work independently and styles hair in every spare moment she has

As you can imagine, making a living on this is near impossible so her search for education, training and employment continues as the months out of school turn to years and as she becomes more and more disconnected and less confident in her abilities to go back and get her credits


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