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2013 Champion - Sarah Bolger

Grand Erie Learning Alternatives offers a second chance to be role-model


Sometimes there are second chances in life.

For many of our champions, adult and continuing education programs gave them a second chance to complete their Secondary School diplomas and be better role models for their children. Their experience has set them on the path to more education or better paying jobs.

For Sarah Bolger, the journey to a better job was one step forward and two steps back.
Facing trouble at home and struggling to fit in, the Brantford resident left high school after Grade 10. In the years following, Sarah found work at a cell centre and had a child. When the company she was working for closed, she took it as an opportunity. Wanting to be a role model for her son, she decided to go back to school. She didn’t want to work as a telemarketer again.

Sarah completed a social worker program, but she could not find work in the field and reluctantly returned to a call centre to support her family. Yet, Sarah remained committed to her goal.

With the support of the Steps to Success program, she finished the PSW program at Grand Erie Learning Alternatives. Steps to Success is offered by Ontario Works Brant, and is designed to help people move off social assistance, and into paid employment, by supporting their education.

She is now employed as a PSW, and is enjoying the opportunity she has. She says the experience “taught her about herself. I’ve grown up and I value life more.”

Story by Rob Rombouts

Photo by Blackbird Photography