On the Road to a Career as an Electrician
Richard Podolecki came to the ABE program in Fort St John with a checkered history of poor school performance and mental illness. Although very outgoing, he struggled with self-confidence, especially in his own academic abilities. With good support from faculty and peers, Richard completed his goal of BC Adult Graduation and made significant contributions to the campus community as well.
Richard entered the program as a rather undisciplined but capable student. He was interested in ideas and music, but also well aware that he needed to find his way in the world and make a living. Although he struggled initially with Math, and had difficulty adjusting to his medications, Richard became more organized, more curious and more engaged with learning over time. The organization and presentation of his work, his vocabulary, his ability to solve problems and his sensitivity to the needs of others all improved with the attention he gave them.
Richard also became very involved with the Student Council and was instrumental in some successful events such as a weekend trip to the Liard and some student social events on campus involving music and movies. Richard was also an active student member of the Education Council. He read the materials carefully, made notes and asked many relevant questions at the monthly meetings.
Richard worked very collaboratively with his peers, inviting others to study together. In particular, he encouraged First Nations student and students from other countries and made them feel welcomed. He had a great sense of humour, although his impulsiveness often got him into hot water. On a few occasions he had to apologize for some things he said in jest but were taken the wrong way. It would be an understatement to say that he learned from his mistakes, however.
Richard earned the love and respect of his instructors and peers for his perseverance and enthusiasm, which often masked a greater insecurity. Richard completed his program of studies in math, sciences and humanities in June, 2014, and is currently preparing to become an electrician.