Lonna Booker calls herself a “vintage student.” She dropped out of school in Grade 10 due to family circumstances, and returned more than 40 years later.
After bouncing around from one job to another for many years, keeping her head above water and raising children, the Waterford resident was working as a payroll administrator for construction companies. When construction jobs in the area dried up, Lonna decided it was time to go back to school.
She knew her lack of Grade 12 was a barrier to getting a job so she decided “it was time to do something I wanted to do, not just something I had to.”
Lonna qualified for Second Career funding, and after passing her GED she started an accelerated Developmental Service Worker program at Fanshawe College’s Simcoe campus.
The program compresses two years of material into one year of class-time, and the workload is heavy, but Lonna is working hard to succeed, and has had a lot of support from the staff and teachers at the school.
“This has been the biggest accomplishment in my life. It’s not just about finding a new career. It started that way, but I have grown as a person,” she said. “It nice when there is something you’ve always wanted to do and now you have the chance. It’s been a long road.”
Story by Rob Rombouts
Photo by Blackbird Photography