“I never graduated, and I never went back to school once I’d left, because life happens. And later, how do you maneuver, trying to live and trying to pay, while trying to take care of kids and everything else? I just never did it. At a career centre, they gave me a card for Never Too Late and said, “Try these guys.”

When life gets on top of you

“I was doubtful. By the time you get to the program, you are so beat up by life that your self-confidence and self-esteem is gone. There’s a perspective that comes from that – if you don’t know anybody, you can’t get hurt. Trust is an issue. I thought, “People don’t do this. People don’t help, they just don’t.” It’s just easier to fall back on the familiar patterns – to run when things get tough or hard.”

Honest help. No strings attached.

“But then I discovered that you guys are genuinely here to help. You don’t want anything, you’re not expecting anything, you’re just trying to help people get a better life. I got over the distrust, because you guys were there every week, and you care. And because you care, I wanted to venture out a little more, and try to make people proud of me.”

The world is my oyster

“Now I have a whole world of opportunities. I’m at St. Mary’s University, and I believe that social work is where I’m going. I have my own personal struggles with addiction, and have seen my son go through the same. Looking at my past, I didn’t see any value in what I had come through. But now, I understand things, because I’ve been there. I think that will be valuable in working with somebody else who is struggling.”

A family affair

“This year, my son is in Never Too Late. I’d like to think that I inspired him. He used to help me with homework, and I think that gave him a push to believe in himself. It’s generational change. (But I rub it in that his mom graduated before he did!)”

The future has never been brighter

“Without Never Too Late, I wouldn’t be looking at life the way I am now. Before, I was stuck, I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t doing anything or going anywhere. Now, I’m looking at life with a positive perspective. I’m thinking about the next few years. This program changes lives; I’m living proof that it works.”

April 25, 2019