Grade 9 proved to be a difficult year for Lucas Ishikawa. Life's challenges got in the way with school attendance and ultimately, this negatively impacted his grades.
After speaking with the school counselor, an alternative program to schooling seemed like a viable option and Ishikawa transitioned to South Hill Education Centre's Youth Program.
"I like that the program at South Hill is tailored to me instead of me trying to fit the program," says Ishikawa. "It's not just another classroom-I feel like I belong here."
The flexible class structure allows Ishikawa to work at his own pace while the supportive environment motivated him to work hard and show up to class.
"The teachers work closely with you and are really understanding" he says. "They have stuck with me and helped me with my attendance."
The highly supportive staff not only helped Ishikawa with his attendance but ultimately, his confidence as well.
"The self-paced youth program at South Hill really focused on my strengths and improved my confidence, " he says.
The South Hill student says he plans to pursue studies at a college or university in the future-something he never even considered prior to his time at South Hill.
"In the past, I wouldn't have ever wanted to go, but now I don't see my attendance as a problem," says Ishikawa. "The teachers here showed me that I have what it takes to go to post-secondary and to succeed."
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