Kathy Ramsey knows what it takes to move towards a goal. The commitment and the effort combined with persistence–really, can take you far. However, sometimes it is the help that you open yourself up for along the way that can make the achievement so much sweeter.
Ramsey is the President of the local chapter of the Kiwanis Aktion Club. A visit to their website will share the following;
“Aktion Club is the only service club for adults with disabilities, with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Aktion Clubs draw members from various organizations that support individuals with disabilities, as well as other community programs. Aktion clubs can also be established at churches, libraries, YMCAs, lodges or similar facilities. A Kiwanis club, composed of like-minded, service-oriented people from the community, serves as the club’s sponsor. Aktion Club is supported at the district level and by the Kiwanis International Office in Indianapolis, Indiana, which provides programs, literature and opportunities to relate to individuals with disabilities from countries worldwide.”
As such, she is no stranger to the variety of challenges that any individual can face in pursuit of achieving goals. She initially was a student at Alexander Henry High School where she participated in field school (fore-runner to Co-op) and received a certificate of completion. However, what she really wanted to complete were the requirements that would award her with her Grade 12 diploma. Indeed, this was a persistent notion for her.
“I always thought, I need my Grade 12 to move forward.”
In Sault Ste. Marie, there a several options one can choose from in order to get the credits needed to obtain Grade 12 certification. While Northland Adult Learning Centre, and Superior Adult Learning (formerly Program Read) can provide supplemental support while you are working towards gaining your credits, it must be noted that only Holy Angels Learning Centre, Kina Awiiya and the Sault Ste. Marie Adult Learning Centre on Northland Road are able to formally grant an OSSD. Kathy Ramsey, in action towards her diploma, did enrol in some of these agencies however didn’t find the fit that she was seeking.
Where she did find a culture that she could identify was within the walls of Kina Awiiya. Formerly an Adult Education agency dedicated primarily to the service of Indigenous students, more recently they have opened their doors to support students of non-indigenous descent.
It is at Kina Awiiya that Kathy Ramsey met success and had her efforts rewarded this past June with her Grade 12 diploma. She felt welcomed from her first day and shared with SaultOnline the word used there that resonated with her immediately;
“Ohan means family. That is what we are here.”
Ramsey was enthusiastic about the supportive teachers and staff, but also about the supports available to learners. She referenced the Parent Room, for students with children and also the transportation supports that are available to individuals who meet the criterion. Kathy encourages all who still have educational goals that they would like to reach to explore what is available in our community in terms of alternative education that is geared to the adult learner.
“It’s never to late to get educated,” said Ramsey, “[nor is there a limit on] how much you can learn.”
For more information on Kina Awiiya please contact Education Support Juliette at 705-256-5634 ext 3205 / 705-989-7965. Alternatively you can also visit the website at https://www.adsb.on.ca/apps/pages/education-connection
–with photos from Facebook.com