It was an evening to remember on June 18th, 2015, as forty-three adult education students from the CDC Vimont and over eighty family members and friends celebrated their success in a special ceremony in Laval at the Embassy Plaza. Students who were enrolled in our Adult Education programs to either complete their secondary school diploma requirements, or to earn the pre-requisites for further study in Cegep or University received the recognition they so rightly deserve for meeting their goals.

Adult Education students of all ages and from many varied cultures and backgrounds took to the stage in their caps and gowns to receive their diplomas or attestations. The tears flowed as proud parents; friends and children were on hand to witness these special accomplishments. The staff at the CDC Vimont, and the Graduation Committee under the direction of teacher Daniel Cuvalo, worked tirelessly to make this event as magnificent as possible for the students. As the Director of the Center it was a special moment for me to see this event come together so that our students could have the experience of that memorable walk across the stage to the waiting diploma.

For many of our students it has been a challenge to return to school to continue their education. Some have had negative experiences and have had difficulties in traditional learning environments. Others have left their homelands in search of a better life and understand that an education is the key to success- despite the struggles that learning while earning can present. Many of our students have to balance how to support their own families while returning to school on very limited budgets and with limited time to reach their goals. Still other female adult education students have come to us to learn and grow as individuals from countries where access to education was denied to them because of their gender.

Adult Education offers an important second chance at learning for our students. Not only do they learn academically but there are many community and social learning elements to our programs. Our goal is to take our students further on the pathway to success and to support them as they go from “learning to earning”. Our students broaden their horizons; use their personal experiences as a resource; develop new skills- both personal and professional; regain self-confidence and independence; and re-discover their talents and abilities in new ways. Adult learning shapes identity and gives meaning to life.

At this special event our students received multiple awards not only from the School Board, but from the Governor General of Canada and from our community partners in Laval. It was a special celebration for a special group of learners and we were all very proud when they threw their caps in the air and cheered each other’s success. Our students are now off to other pursuits and challenges but they leave us with stronger skills and wonderful memories.

Heather Halman, B. Comm., B.A., M.A. C.E.L.
Adult Education Center Director- CDC Vimont, CDC Lachute and CDC Joliette