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Julia's Journey: From Challenges to Triumphs

April 4, 2024 by Erica Sokolik

Research has shown again and again that education is the clearest path for youth to reach their full potential. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we can help change the life trajectory for local kids through education and help create a stronger community – for all of us – in the future.

On Track To Success is a wrap-around intervention for high school students and their families to help them graduate high school, and go on to college, university or a trade. We’d like to introduce you to one of our On Track To Success graduates – Julia.

“Hello, my name is Julia, and I am a 17-year-old graduate from Assumption High School. I am happy to share my experience in the On Track to Success program and the tremendous impact it has had on me. I moved to Canada at age 10 with my family. It was not easy growing up as an immigrant in a foreign environment, and my family and I have faced many adversities that have shaped who I am today. Throughout my childhood, I always felt resentful for being forced to grow up sooner than my peers.

Once in grade 12, I was constantly asked about my plans for post-secondary education and the need to make a decision that would dictate the rest of my life. During this difficult period, I was introduced to a program called On Track to Success, which strives to ensure students’ academic and personal success by providing unconditional help and support for any aspect of our lives. As a person who has become so independent through life experiences, it was very difficult for me to ask for help. However, through On Track to Success, I no longer felt the pressure to overcome challenges alone. The program created a safe space where I wasn’t afraid to seek help, whether it be for school assignments or determining a pathway after high school.

With the support of On Track to Success, I finished my high school career as an Ontario Scholar and had the opportunity during the summer that followed to work as a tutor with ESL students in the classroom. This opportunity allowed me to work alongside and mentor other students, just like my experience in On Track. This program has truly allowed me to understand that it is okay to reach out and ask for help as that is the bravest thing one can do. I feel very secure in my future as I will be taking Business Administration and Psychology beginning in the Fall of 2023, and I am more motivated than ever to continue this journey with them by my side. With the support and guidance of On Track to Success coaches and mentors, I was able to apply to scholarships and gratefully become a recipient of multiple awards, such as the Eleanor Catherine Wallace Memorial Entrance Scholarship, the Ed Lumley Bursary and the On Track to Success Bursary, that will help ease the financial burden of post-secondary education and allow me to focus on my academic success. Hopefully one day, I will be able to spread love and kindness to others as this program has done to me.”

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