'I feel really proud': Former dropout wins Literacy Award, credits kids for inspiring him

'I feel really proud': Former dropout wins Literacy Award, credits kids for inspiring him

P.E.I.'s 2017 Council of the Federation Literacy Award recipient has a message for students that may be struggling in school and are considering dropping out: never give up.

Shawn Stewart dropped out in Grade 10, but said he regretted the decision as he got older.

The father of two said he was inspired by his children to go back to school and to stick with it this time around.

"I couldn't really quit this time because there's so much on the line," he said.

"Trying to set a good example for my children."

'I feel really proud'

Stewart took about three years to graduate, starting at Holland College and then moving to Workplace Learning PEI.

"It was hard at first," he said.

"I struggled with math and some writing and stuff like that … instead of giving up this time I just kept hard at it."

He said the experience has encouraged him to continue his education and he plans to upgrade his English skills before moving on to a sheriff and public safety course, or correctional officer program.

"My confidence is way up. I feel really proud," he told CBC's Compass.

'Set a good example'

For people thinking about following a similar path and going back to school, Stewart said they shouldn't hesitate.

"It's never too late to go back to school," he said.

"And if you have kids it's great to set a good example for them."

Stewart hopes that his going back to school will encourage his kids to stay in school.

"Hopefully they can look at me getting my education and, you know, feel the same way."

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