Finding a Path to Success Through Alternate Ways

Lucas Yeltatzie, 18 years old, lived on Haida Gwaii. He found it difficult to get motivated to do schoolwork, arriving late and leaving early. On some days, he skipped school altogether. Lucas didn’t find relevance in what he was being taught and was often bored. It was surprising that he hadn’t already dropped out of school.

When his high school partnered with Northwest Community College to offer a trades program, he decided to give it a try. He started attending the course every day with a strong “get it done” attitude.  It soon became clear that he was a natural fit for the program.

Lucas took on extra work and became a leader that other students went to for support. One of his instructors had to unplug his welding machine at the end of the day because he just wouldn’t stop welding!

After the program concluded, Lucas continued to have a desire for a career in the trade industry. He knew that he had to graduate from high school to achieve this. His goal was to complete high school by January – and succeeded with his plan.  His work placement for the month of January was set up with a local welding shop where he was able to further hone his skills.

After graduation, Lucas enrolled in a 40-day intense training course in Smithers called the WEST program (Workforce Exploration Skills Training). Within the 40 days, he obtained certifications in 13 different courses including mining exploration, first aid, transport endorsement, spill response, chainsaw safety, and several others.

Lucas applied to Northwest Community College and to the College of New Caledonia to continue in a trades program, beginning September, 2016. He has found his passion and is confident about his path to success!

This story is only one of many stories from Haida Gwaii Community Coalition (a local literacy task group). This group meets so that multiple partners, from multiple sectors can discuss the literacy and learning gaps in their communities. The solutions that they create have a positive effect across the Haida Gwaii community.

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