Mikayla Martell, one of Halifax Public Libraries’ Literacy Help & Upgrading program alumnus, is going to Mount Saint Vincent University.
Staff at Halifax Public Libraries know how studying, and definitely testing, can be scary. We pair adult learners with exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable tutors to make sure learners feel safe to make mistakes and freedom to find the right answers.
“I dealt with anxiety a lot when I was younger, and I get what it’s like. You just need someone to help, be patient, and give you that push,” says Mikayla.
In 2017, Mikayla came to Keshen Goodman Public Library and was matched with a volunteer tutor, Mary-Jo Bernard.
The pair hit it off from the start. Soon their back-and-forth banter and laughter illustrated how a partnership can be a success beyond tests.
“When we first met, Mikayla gave me a handcrafted apple. She makes crochet crafts on the side,” remembers Mary-Jo.
Before going to the Library and studying with Mary-Jo, Mikayla was homeschooled. Due to illness she did not complete high school. As a young adult, she began searching for GED programs when she found the Library’s Adult Literacy program.
“Libraries were one of the few places I felt comfortable when I started. It seemed like the best option for me.”
After she was paired with Mary-Jo, the two had weekly meetings at Keshen Goodman. They blazed through the preparation and completion GED tests, and after a few short months she was done. Mikayla was soaring in more ways than one.
“I’m happy to say I feel comfortable in many more places now. It’s given me the confidence to try things that before seemed too daunting,” Mikayla says. “This is a stepping stone.”
The pair celebrated and said their goodbyes in Spring 2018.
Mary-Jo is completing her Masters degree in the Psychology field of Family Studies and Gerontology, and returned home to Prince Edward Island.
Mikayla thought her next stepping stone was to apply for community college. She was thinking about Teen Psychology, as well as Deaf Studies. University was not on her radar at first. But she took a chance. Now, Mikayla Martell is going to Mount Saint Vincent University.
Mikayla, congratulations on all of your accomplishments.
Mary-Jo, thank you for sharing your talents and for being so generous.