Stories of inspiration
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How learning to read helped Kevin Sappier to write his own wellness story.

Kevin Sappier’s face lights up whenever he talks about his young daughter, Chelsea. He’s a proud dad and wants her to have a different life than his. Kevin struggled with school and never properly learned how to read or write. As it has for many, this limited his opportunities and affected his quality of life. He wanted to get a job working on the bridge but he couldn’t take the safety course. He was afraid to travel as little things like road signs presented a challenge. Mostly though, it was all about Chelsea. Kevin wanted to be able to read to her and help her with her homework – to make sure there was always a world of opportunities open to her.

This was Kevin’s tipping point. No longer would not being able to read or write hold him back. So Kevin enrolled in the local St. Mary’s Community Adult Learning Program. He really connected with his teacher, Joanne, and she became his mentor for the next three years.

It turns out that learning to read and write was just the start of Kevin’s wellness story.

Kevin felt empowered. He saw that with support, change is possible. Kevin started making even more positive changes in his life. He started going to his local gym regularly, working out with a friend from school. He quit smoking. And now that he could read food labels, he started making healthier choices. Kevin also got back in touch with his First Nations cultural heritage and hopes to be an inspiration for everyone in his community.

Today, Kevin is still a man on a mission! He’s been using his new skills to apply for different jobs and with the support of his family and his community, continues to set new wellness goals. He’s got momentum going and it all started by taking that first step. Now, Kevin and Chelsea are ready to get started on a new chapter in their lives.


Related websites and resources…

New Brunswick Literacy Coalition


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