Published: September 21, 2023
Meet Raquel Johnson

Raquel knows what her goal is – to become a mental health counsellor. She aspires to obtain a Bachelor of Social Work and to later pursue a PhD in Social Work. However, she was unsure where to begin until she found OSTTC’s GED program. After further investigation, she realized it was the perfect place to start!

The 12-week General Education Development program assists individuals in achieving their education through specific testing and upgrading in subjects such as language arts, reading, writing, social studies, science, and math. After completion, students will then be prepared to take their GED test.

Raquel chose to study at OSTTC because she knew from past experience that OSTTC’s approach to delivering programming is unique and student-focused. She notes, “I chose to study at OSTTC because it was closer to home, as I currently live just in the village. The program was also going to be taught in person which, for me, was great as I am more of a hands-on learner. If it was done online, then I don’t know what I would have done”. The faculty at OSTTC gets to know each student individually and tailors lessons and examples to suit their own distinctive learning styles. Raquel expressed that the instructors at OSTTC were very accommodating and helped her gain important problem-solving skills. She says that “the experience was also fun as the teacher would get the class more involved in the lesson by having us guess what the answer was and later, we would all find out if we were right or not”.

It was not always easy for Raquel, as she noted that having the overall drive and confidence during the GED program was difficult. At first, she found getting into a routine, arriving to class on time, and completing assignments to be overwhelming. She says, “I went almost 3 years without a diploma from high school because I thought I wasn’t smart enough to graduate but getting this certificate with my name on it saying that I got my GED made me realize that those lies I told myself about not being smart enough weren’t true. I made sure I did the work in class and our homework because I wanted to make sure that I did everything I could to get that certificate”. During her time in the GED program, Raquel was eventually able to overcome her fear of failure and gain self-confidence. Raquel notes that, “getting that certificate made me realize that it is not the end for me in school, that if I was able to accomplish getting this, I could accomplish anything in life”.

Upon completion of further post-secondary education, Raquel plans to take a different approach to mental health counselling by using holistic approaches. “I want to bring back our traditional ways of healing our community and our young ones. I want to be able to help our youth by showing them that our traditional ways aren’t just for ceremony, that they’re meant for healing as well.” By taking the GED program, Raquel gained the skills and confidence to pass the GED test, which she says was a huge support in helping her accomplish her goals and getting her closer to achieving her dream career.

Raquel highly recommends OSTTC’s GED program. “Make sure you go to class every day or whenever you have classes. Do the work. Never think negatively about yourself. Always think and tell yourself ‘I can do this!’ Always remember that it is never too late to get your GED or your High School Diploma.” Since getting her GED, Raquel has enrolled in a full-time Child and Youth Care program at Fanshawe College that she will use as a pathway toward university and becoming a certified mental health counsellor!

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