RAEC grads have the courage to try again

Regional Alternative Education Centre 2019 graduates Eva Krahn, Helen Friesen and Annie Dyck. LORI PENNER/Red River Valley Echo

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Eight graduates received their diplomas this year from the Regional Alternative Education Centre in Altona.
Director Rebecca Book says the graduates come from many walks of life.
“We had several apprenticeship students this year, as well as a retiree, whose goal was always to earn his high school diploma. This year, everything lined up for him, and he was finally able to accomplish that.”
Book says sometimes life takes us down different paths and journeys but it’s never too late to continue your education.
“We’re always here. We want our students to know there’s no right or wrong way to achieve your education. You can do it at your own pace. We have flexible hours and different delivery modes, be it online, evening classes, or one on one instruction during the day. There are lots of different options. We try to accommodate the busy schedule and challenges of an adult’s life, trying to juggle jobs and their family life.”
Book says that sometimes, RAEC students need to pause their education there for a time, as well, and that’s perfectly alright.
“This is a personal journey and we’re here when you’re ready to come back to us.”
The RAEC team includes four teachers, a director, two educational assistants, and an administrative assistant.
“We have a fabulous team of very caring people here who want to help you succeed.”
RAEC alumnist Janice Klassen was the guest speaker at their graduation ceremony this year. She graduated from the program in 2003.

Regional Alternative Education Centre 2003 graduate Janice Klassen shared her journey at the RAEC graduation ceremony. LORI PENNER/Red River Valley Echo

“I have many great memories of coming here as an adult student,” she said.
“I enrolled as a newly-divorced single mother and there were many difficulties and barriers at that time in my life. It took me a few years to get my life back on track, and take my education seriously, and really want it for me.”
Klassen said RAEC staff went the extra mile and never gave up on her. They taught her not to give up on herself.
“They made me realize I had the tools within myself to learn, to change, to grow and to succeed. I found my resilience here, and my purpose.”
She went on to continue her post-secondary education, graduating with a Master of Social Work degree in 2008. She now works in an adult training centre in Winnipeg.

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