Matt and Nicole

Guest Speakers
Mercedes-Benz ALC Masters
June 13, 2011

Matt: Let me start by thanking Carlo and Joan for inviting Nicole and me here today. When I first met Carlo, right away I was intrigued by this smart, kind man and his ideas to better my life. But I was still a little resistant in joining the ALC* Family. Mostly because, at that point in my life, I thought I would be looked at as a chump for taking advice from anyone.

My grandfather nearly broke his finger, he used to shake it at me so much...may he rest in peace. Like my grandfather, Carlo cared very much for my future and wanted me to succeed. So there I was, making some money and getting an education at the same time. Little did I know that I would be getting taught different parts of my brain and what each part tells me what to do. (Thank you Mr. Lou Tice)

So I soon realized that the ALC was so much more than getting your GED. It also helped me with money management, personal recognition, people skills, time management, priorities of life, and much more. I cannot thank the ALC enough for the places it encouraged me to go and people that I now have the confidence to meet.

Shortly after graduating from the ALC, I started to hang out with some of my old peers and found myself doing some of the same things I did prior to the ALC. (I don’t want to get personal so let’s just say I was nothing like the man you see here today.) I thank everyone here who supports the ALC because I realized that this was not the path that I wanted to go down. I was able to create my own future and change my way of life.

I started down my righteous path and the first thing I did was to find a job that I actually enjoyed. (It took about ten tries but I made it). Along the way I met Nicole and right away I knew we could be successful together. Nicole had all of the hopes and dreams I did and no one to push her in the right direction. So I referred her to the ALC and she grabbed the bull by the horns. We now have a 19-month-old son named Carter who is my world. With two parents who graduated from the ALC, Carter has no choice but to be successful. No matter what it takes, I will never give up on that boy… I need him to take care of me and the ol’ lady when we get old.

I have been employed  for three years as a sheet metal worker. I have been to school once so far and plan on getting my Journeyman Card and after that, possibly take up refrigeration or plumbing.

I never thought I would have a job that I actually enjoyed or make the money that I am making before the ALC. We are saving money for a house and chasing all of our dreams but also accomplishing some along the way. If there is any money out there to invest in a program, why not invest in the ALC? I did and now I focus on the 90% of life, not the 10% (and now I am able to set a good example for my son).

Nicole: Good evening everyone. I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to stand up here and to have a conversation with you. I am not here to speak at you.

I came from a broken home – a home where all four of my siblings thought chaos and dysfunction were what you’d call “normal living”. My parents were together until I was 11 years old and I am glad that they separated when they did. Of course, it was hard and I could not understand why for a number of years. However, that experience made me realize how important it is to work as a team. As I got older, I had no sense of commitment and respect for others, the reason being I was miserable and was only concerned about the weekends.

The ALC helped me gain the confidence to get a job. I am working at my dream job. That doesn’t stop there. I am going to university in the fall and I am aiming toward my Business Admin. with [my employer] by my side.

As Matthew was saying, we had a son 19 months ago. At that moment, my life was changed forever. I was scared and unsure of how I was going to be as a parent because of how I was raised. (Let me say, I do not blame my parents for anything. I was able to forgive them so that I could move on with my life and truly love Carter and Matt.) Now that we are adults, we have that wonderful choice to make for Carter as his parents. We are sorry you could not meet Carter tonight – tonight is mommy and daddy’s date night. How thankful Matt and I are to share with all of you.

When people ask me the question “Where did you go to school?”, it’s truly hard for me to answer because I see the ALC as so many things. I cannot call it a school because schools and other programs cannot compare. As Carlo would say, “We are employee/apprentices, not students!” But he would say it with such passion as the true teacher he is.

If I had one word to describe the ALC, it would be “FREEDOM”. We were taught to be reliable, accountable, and trustworthy so that we “adults” could choose a career and make our own choices. This would also create healthy living for our families at home. Given the tools that are provided at the ALC, I feel that I have the power to free myself from negative pressures that are always lingering.

Have you ever thought about why some people just can’t seem to keep themselves out of jail? Those inmates are taught to be dependent on shelter, food, and something they call structure. We taxpayers pay into these facilities. I’m talking about thousands of dollars per inmate. Why not contribute to raise $30,000 to keep the ALC at reach for our society – to be set free?

We are very fortunate to have all of you here tonight, supporting us because you really do care. You are giving back the greatest gift of all.

I feel very lucky to be a part of the ALC because of how unique we are – unique, because we focus on providing a path for other families, providing a path for our son Carter and many generations to come. I think that it’s time to create the man and woman we want to be. With that, we need to break the vicious cycle and make our dreams come true. I had no idea I could dream this big.

Matt: We want to thank all of you for your generous support,

Nicole: for helping those who need that extra push,

Matt: for helping us succeed at work and most of all, as parents.

Nicole: Thank you and we will see you in the near future.


* The Regina Adult Learning Centre (ALC) changed its name to Ignite Adult Learning Corporation in January 2012.

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