Student's Voices

Student's Voices | Testimonials from Edmonton At Risk Youth

Poetry and stories submitted by our students at the Adult Transition Learning Centre

Remember When

Remember when the bus was 15 cents, or 2 for 25
Remember when a bag of chips was 5 cents, or you could get a pop for a dime.
Remember when bread was for 3 for a buck
Remember when the snow banks were so high it was quite a climb to get over them to get on the bus
Remember when it seemed a long walk to school
Remember when TVs were just black and white
Remember when you saw Spider Man for the first time on a colour TV
Remember there were only a couple of TV stations before Cable TV
Remember when you could get a few candies for a penny
Remember when the milk man delivered milk to your door
Remember when teachers used chalk boards
Remember when you couldn’t wait to grow up
Remember when 5 bucks was a lot of money
Remember when there were eight track tapes
Do you remember when?

Andrew's Story

My goal in life 5 years ago was to try and work towards changing things in my personal life, for the better. I wanted to be successful and do something that would make me feel happy. I have always wanted to work in the trades, but there were some obstacles I needed to overcome (improving my education level and to quit drinking). I left school in 1976; I completed grades 8 to 9. My past school experiences were not very good. I struggled with some learning difficulties growing up, but I always felt that with a little bit of help and guidance, I would overcome those challenges. I also struggled with depression and anxiety. I have been clean and sober now for over 3 years. My past jobs were labor, driving, and security guard work. I was often dissatisfied with my employment choices. The wages were low. I grew up on a Hutterite colony on the farm in Alberta. But now I live in the city. I have heard about employers accepting older mature workers into the trades with no high school diploma, as long as you could pass the Provincial Entrance Exam offered through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. So I started doing my own research, and I learned that I can work in a trade in my chosen field, as an Apprentice Pipefitter. So I needed to find a school where I would receive help with my studies so that I can accomplish the goal that I set out to do for myself. I knew about the John Howard Society’s program called ATLC where I could go and receive help with my studies, in particular, math. The Society’s teacher, Garett worked with me, one on one, he also allowed me to work at my own pace, and he always encouraged all the students to try and do the very best that they can with their studies, and also in their own personal life’s. I found all the society’s staff members, Michelle, Rachel, and Math Teacher Garett, and English Teacher Brett were always very helpful and friendly. I worked very hard while at school, and at home on my studies, especially math. I enjoyed the flexible drop-in times that the Society offered to the students who may hold down part time jobs. When I completed all of the math assignments, I studied all about the basic principals of science with the help of Garett. My English skills, reading and writing were at a very good level. I now felt that it was time for me to write the exam at Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. I felt very anxious, nervous, and overwhelmed, all at the same time. I wrote the exam with a passing mark of 79%. 70% is pass. My chosen trade is Pipefitter. I took my test results marks to the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union #488 in Edmonton, and they accepted me into the organization as an Apprentice Pipefitter and shortly afterwards I was employed on a pipeline job up North, staying in a Camp. I can now earn a better than average wage. I like working in the trades, because there is a lot of on the job training, before a new apprentice starts going to trade school like NAIT. This entire process and journey has really changed my life for the better. I see than learning will be always ongoing in my future. I am also very proud and happy that the John Howard Society has been a huge contributor and part of my successful daily life. Thank you very much!!!


Andrew Wipf,
Former Successful Student





    When I come for help, the staff are very kind and treat me great.  The staff are always in a good mood and optimistic.

    Adult Support Services – Client

    Read More

    Living at the LOFT allows me to have a second chance at life.

    LOFT - Client


    Read More

    My experience has been great in a comfortable and peaceful home.

    Donnelly House - Client

    Read More

    NOVA is the closest thing to a family I have had in a long while.

    NOVA - Client

    Read More

    The information in the stress management course was great and I learned a lot. 

    Edmonton Remand Centre - Client

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Contact the Edmonton
John Howard Society

#401, 10010 105 St.
Edmonton, AB T5J 1C4

Tel: 780.428.7590
Fax: 780.425.1699

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow us on: Facebook Donation to JHS Edmonton