Mandi Harper has a math phobia.
In fact, she says she would almost hyperventilate just thinking about numbers. But, with a dream to one day establish her own photography business, the 31-year-old Brantford woman took on her fears to return to school.
"I had done a lot of research and really knew my strengths and weaknesses. I wanted to work on and develop the skills I needed to be successful."
Having heard about the Brant Skills Centre through her father, who attends programming there, Mandi registered and began her upgrading last August.
Ready to tackle her fear of math, she started the program with an assessment and a review of division. She moved quickly through the work by carefully reading instructions, assessing the examples and asking for further clarification in class.
With her college and business goals in mind, Mandi would ask for math work relevant to her program and to running her own business.
Now she no longer panics over mathematical problems.
When she completed her upgrading, Mandi enrolled in Mohawk College's Small Business and Entrepreneurship program and used her improved math skills in her courses.
The single mother juggled her studies with caring for her young son and working on an internship with a couple of local photographers.
Story by Jaymie Nelson
Photo by Keepsake Photography