Judith Martin knows it's never too late to learn.
After spending 22 years as a stay-at-home mom, she suddenly found herself adrift.
"My daughter had moved on to school and, without her at home, I felt a little lost," said the Brantford resident.
So, at 55, Judith felt the time was right to follow her dream.
After years of caring for her epileptic daughter, Judith learned the benefits of service dogs, which can protect a person having a seizure by helping them avoid injury.
With that knowledge and the support of her family, Judith began taking steps toward running her own dog training service.
It took her 15 months to find the right school to upgrade her qualifications, but she persevered.
"I just kept thinking that there's got to be a place for me and my goals and dreams."
Judith found the right match in Mohawk College's academic upgrading program, an Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities-funded Literacy and Basic Skills program, which is tuition-free.
She is currently upgrading in math, computers and English, with a goal of enrolling in Mohawk's Educational Support Program in September.
Working for others to gain hand-on experience and building on her Grade 12 education through academic upgrading, Judith is developing the skills she needs to manage her own company, called Pawsitive Manners for Pooches.
"If you follow your passion there is no age limit," she says. "Just get out there and start working for it."
Story by Jaymie Nelson
Photo by Keepsake Photography