This award is given in conjunction to the Peter Gzowski Invitational Bonspiel for Literacy in Toronto held on January 19. The Learner Achievement Award is supported by the generous donations from Patricia and David Morton.

Melanie Lajambe-Johnson is the recipient of the 2017 Peter Gzowski Invitational Learner Achievement Award. As a young Indigenous woman who dropped out of a high school to become a mother, she had big dreams of finishing school to pursue post-secondary education.

Melanie joined Frontier College’s Beat the Street program in the fall of 2015 looking to attain her GED certificate to continue education in plumbing or carpentry program at George Brown College. Melanie demonstrated a willingness to try different methods of learning and various opportunities that were presented to her.  While in the program, Melanie actively participated in the New Readers Bookstore, Frontier College’s social enterprise. This experience advanced her numeracy and computer skills that she learned in the Literacy and Basic Skills Program.
After one year of intensive work in the program, Melanie wrote and passed the GED exam.

“Without the support and encouragement of Kinda Johnson, the instructor, Rosita Bacchus, the coordinator of the Literacy and Basic Skills program, Laura Milton, the coordinator of the New Readers Bookstore and the dedicated volunteers,  I wouldn’t have succeeded in attaining my goals. Overall, I learned that failing is not really a failure but an opportunity to improve and grow as a person”, says Melanie.