Guest Speaker
A Masters Evening with Mercedes
June 6, 2011

I am thankful for this opportunity to tell you what the Regina Adult Learning Centre* means to me as an apprentice.

I am 25 years old and a mother of three beautiful children. I have two daughters and one son, aged 8, 6, and 3 years. I was born in Regina and raised in a total of 27 foster care homes between the ages of 2 to 14 years. Consequently, there were many negative effects on my life. I learned to give up when times got tough. I learned to run away from all my problems. The most damaging teaching I learned was to not love myself. If no one wanted to keep me or believe in me, how would I want to believe in myself?

For many years, I kept those teachings with me and some I may have passed on to my children.

Two years ago, I gave my children to the care of others because I felt I was not a good enough mother. I had very little education and felt inadequate when it came to helping my daughter with school work. There was no room in day care for my two youngest and my only transportation was the bus. It seemed at that point that my only option was to give them up to give them a better chance in life.

There were many times in the past years when I had chances to finish my grade 12 but was unsuccessful due to the negative effects of my upbringing.

When I first heard about the Regina Adult Learning Centre, I knew instinctively that this was a place where I would learn to be successful. I was so excited when I got the call telling me I had been accepted to begin in January 2011. At first, I was hesitant to believe in myself enough to get through even the first week. But as days went into weeks I grew more confident in my abilities and potential.

My time at the RALC has given me more confidence and I can now see a brighter future for myself. It is always a positive atmosphere when I get to work in the morning and the facilitators truly care about our success. Taking programs such as Thought Patterns, Bookkeeping, How Money Works, and Goal Setting are very important skills that are truly a blessing and crucial at this point in my life. Another important opportunity is to learn how to drive and obtain my driver’s licence. I do not think this would have been possible if not for the RALC.

I now understand that things learned can be unlearned and I can change my negative self-talk.

I have been through many changes while attending the RALC. Homelessness and addictions go hand in hand often, and I am working on overcoming both of them with my new outlook on life. I have been able to struggle my way through with a lot of support.

When I graduate from the RALC, my goal is to attend the First Nations University of Canada and obtain my Bachelor of Arts degree in Saulteaux Language Studies. I also want to explore Social Policy and Resources in order to work on making a difference in society.

I plan on planting my roots and bringing my children home.

The fact that the RALC is managed as a business model is a large part of my success as I have learned many positive teachings while attending. I now understand what it means to be responsible, reliable, and accountable.

Thank you all for inviting me to share some of my experiences and blessings. I thank you for investing your time and money in the RALC.

Without your investment, I would not have gained the confidence in myself to accomplish my goals. 

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

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