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Learning Centre awards honour County adult students

PELC award recipient Scott Whitelock shown setting up at the PEC Fresh market.

Adult students in Prince Edward County have been honoured for successes in learning outside of traditional methods.

Since 2014, the Prince Edward Learning Centre (PELC) has recognized students who show dedication to learning, kindness to other learners, interest and involvement in the community, resilience in their learning journey, personal growth, and completion of a significant learning goal.

“Many of our students did not excel in a traditional school environment, for a multitude of reasons,” said Lori Farrington, Special Projects Facilitator. “For someone who struggled in school, but overcame a lot to graduate or learn a new skill or do something significant, recognizing their achievements is so important. We are so proud of each and every one of them.”

Last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, PELC’s AGM was short and sweet and awards were not handed out. Not to be forgotten, 10 adults were recognised at this year’s annual general meeting, with more than $5,000 awarded to students for work completed over the past two years.

“For all who attended the AGM on Zoom, it was, of course, the highlight of the meeting,” said Maureen Adams, Interim Chair of PELC. “The recipients represent the diversity of student goals, successes, and PELC programs.”

Award winners for 2019 and 2020 include Afshan Mehmood, Maryam Mehmood, Bradley O’Neil, Scott Whitelock, Sam Dorey, Karen Marquardt, Jeremy Johnson, Heather McCorquodale, Shokhsanam Jones, and Jewelle Edwards.

Each receives a personalized plaque, with their name also inscribed on a large plaque that hangs at the centre, downtown Picton. The award also comes with $500 to be used to continue to work toward new goals.

“This is different for every student”, said Farrington. “Some will go on to post-secondary, but that isn’t everyone’s goal. Our hope is that whatever they use it for will allow them some freedom on their next learning journey.”

Recipient Scott Whitelock was pleased with the recognition. He works with PELC’s PEC Fresh good food market which distributes fresh produce for pick up or delivery.

“Being at the learning centre has helped me with math, spelling and writing and I can really see a difference in those areas. Receiving this award made me feel really great about myself because it meant that the staff at PELC saw my achievements and were proud of me. Working at PEC Fresh has impacted my life drastically because it has allowed me a chance to learn management and leadership skills.”

PELC offers multiple programs to help adults upgrade literacy and essential skills, finish high school, prepare for college, work or a career. There are also apprentice and training programs and a focus on personal independence to help students with health, finance and civic literacy. It is funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and by community fundraising.

For more information about the Prince Edward Learning Centre and its programs, visit www.pelc.ca.

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