LITERACY SUCCESS STORIES

Empowering young people for the jobs of tomorrow

Through Future Launch, RBC has generously donated $25,000 to the Fostering Literacy program.

Thanks to RBC, 32 high school students in BC will be paid to tutor children who struggle with reading.

For many it is their first practical work experience.

Meet Destiny Speck: Fostering Literacy Tutor

A year ago, Destiny wasn’t sure what career to pursue.

Today, the 16-year-old North Island Secondary School student is entering Grade 11 with aspirations of becoming a child psychologist. She credits her decision to her experience working as a reading tutor through the Fostering Literacy Program.

Destiny applied for the job to earn more work experience. She was hired as a reading tutor or ‘coach’ for the Mount Waddington Family Literacy Society’s Fostering Literacy program at Cheslakees Early Learning Centre in Port McNeill.  “Since day one, I really enjoyed working at Cheslakees. It barely felt like work because I love it,” said Destiny. “That’s when I figured out that I would love to work with kids in my future. I looked into many jobs dealing with kids and I came across psychology and I knew I’d love to help kids,” she added.

Tutoring gave Destiny insight into the learning process of children. “I learned how to engage with each kid because they all learn differently. Some enjoy being shown how to spell a word while others like to write it out themselves. I learned how to make sure they all learned to the best of their ability,” she said.

“I always wanted to make their learning process fun by reading a book with them, then playing a game. Whether it was matching a picture to the word or playing an alphabet game, I found that they seemed to enjoy learning more by doing it that way,” she added.

Destiny found her job rewarding. She said “It always made me feel good when they’d get excited to see me. And I felt I was making a difference when we’d go over a certain book and over time they started reading it on their own without any assistance.”

Destiny lives in Alert Bay on Cormorant Island.  Her ‘Namgis First Nation culture has also influenced her direction. “In my culture, everyone is there for each other. I grew up loving to help others,” she said.

She also realized she had some prior tutoring experience. “I used to make a pretend school for my little brother when he was three and I was nine years old. I’d go over the alphabet, how to spell his name and how to read. I realized I even loved to work with kids back then,” she said.

In remote areas like North Vancouver Island, there are fewer resources than in the city and fewer jobs for high school students. It’s even harder for students like Destiny, who take a ferry to school every day. Programs like Fostering Literacy provide a needed service at the schools that have a lifetime impact, as well as work experience and income for teens.

Destiny says, “I’d love to be a tutor again this year. I think the program is great! It’s amazing watching each and every one of them develop with learning in their own unique way. The kids benefit by having a one-on-one learning experience for reading, and I was given job experience and was able to decide what I want to do in my future in the process.”

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