“Who you were yesterday is not who you are today. We all have a chance in life”
– Martin Panamick, April 2019
Martin Panamick has been with Good Learning Anywhere on and off for the past 7 years. Martin was just a teen when he started with GLA in an attempt to put his life together. Martin has struggled with addictions all his life. Martin grew up in a home where partying throughout the week was normal. He dropped out of school by 14 years of age and would often be seen wandering the streets of his community late into the night.
When he was 16, Martin was tired of the life he was leading and decided to make some positive changes starting with returning to school. He registered with the M’Chigeeng Adult and Continuing Education Program and through blended learning successfully completed several GLA courses. He attempted the GED Exam and passed the Language Arts and Math portions of the exam. However, his life was derailed once again by drugs and alcohol. This seemed to be the cycle that would replay for him over and over again in the coming years.
Martin returned to GLA in November 2018. He was still caught up in the cycle of addiction but was searching for recovery. He discussed with his mentor that he was interested in courses that would help to fight the “stinking thinking” that happens in an addicts brain. Together they created a learning plan that included Mindfulness Matters and Personal Health. Martin successfully completed the Mindfulness Matters course but chose to check himself in for treatment before being able to complete Personal Health. Martin made sure his mentor knew where he was and that he intended to continue once he finished treatment.
Martin has now returned and has started the Create a Blog course. He has always enjoyed writing and wants to share his story so that others may learn from it. We are also very excited for Martin as he has also started a part-time job. He has never been employed before so this is a big step for him.
Martin’s mentor, Clara, proudly nominated him for Learner of the Month not because he has completed multiple courses but for the bravery and the courage he has shown each time he stumbled. Martin continues to pick himself up, dust himself off and to continue where he left off. All of us here at Good Learning Anywhere agree.
How did you first hear about online learning with Good Learning Anywhere?
Back when I was 16 years old roughly.
Did you have any struggles during your learning? If so, how did you overcome them?
I had struggles like staying focused, I exercised and read a lot of books.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting to improve their skills?
Be persistent and think positive. Practice, practice, practice.
What is your greatest achievement? Or what accomplishment are you most proud of?
I had got a college certificate in Computer Applications through Canadore College here (In M’chigeeng) at the Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to go to college to become a chef and something in the lines of the health field like health coaching or something like that.
Is there anyone you would like to thank for supporting you on this journey?
Yes, Clara Corbiere (GLA Mentor) who always supported my efforts in learning even when I was having a bad day.
Is there anything else you would like to share with people about winning this award?
You can do anything in life dream big and practice whatever skill you are trying to master. I am an Ojibwe from Manitoulin Island. I enjoy drumming around the big drum and sing daily on my hand drum. Regardless of past struggles, there is always room for change and that who you were yesterday is not who you are today. We all have a chance in life. Smile and be grateful for every challenge.