High School and Middle Town

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AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY/PERSONAL NARRATIVE Stephanie Jones ID: 111222

My name is Stephanie Jones and I was born in Small Town, MB in August 1971. I am the eldest and my brother is three years younger. The two towns where I have resided most of my life are Small Town and Middle Town, Manitoba. Different events in my live have directed this path depending on the circumstances I found myself in. Small Town is a small town with a little over 3000 residents. However, Middle Town is larger with approximately 155 000 residents. I grew up in a northern Francophone family where the provider, my father, was susceptible to layoffs every year. I quickly learned about the powers of an employer and a union’s visions. Unemployment insurance, as it was called back then, was a subject of discussion over many dinners. This way of life, caused a great deal of stress for the family. I remember my mother limiting certain foods or extras such as outings to make ends meet. Later as an adolescent, I was an active member of my high school’s student council. Despite my future visions and good intentions to pursue post-secondary studies, many decisions and circumstances influenced my path. When I did not receive financial assistance to attend a post-secondary institution right after high school, I had to rethink my strategies. I was devastated that I could not pursue my dreams of obtaining the education I had always desired.

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Another event, which shifted my life forever, was accepting a marriage proposal at a young age and marrying in 1988. I made it clear from the beginning that my education was very important to me and marriage would not stand in the way of my pursuing post-secondary studies or even completing high school. When I announced my engagement to my teachers, some were puzzled, others were against it and the most significant was the reaction of my guidance counsellor. He told me if I married prior to my graduation, I would receive significant financial support since married people were more likely to receive additional financial assistance than a single person. Nothing could have been further from the truth. When I was approved for a $500 student loan, I was unable to take on my quest for post-secondary education. Given that I lived in a small town with no opportunity to attend a post-secondary institution locally, I had to relocate to engage in the pursuit of higher education. Needless to say, my dreams were crushed. Seeing no other alternatives, I continued to work odd jobs in our community. One of these led me to be self-employed with the local day care. I was a private home care provider, caring for as many as five to seven children at a time. Having children in my care every day since September 1989 made me yearn for my own children. This decision changed the course of my life once again. I became a mother in May 1991 and continued to work as a private home care provider until my husband, who had been unemployed since our marriage, found work. When he secured employment, it gave me the financial flexibility to pursue my dream of attaining higher education. In September 1992, I moved from Small Town with my one-year-old daughter to attend a college in Middle Town, Manitoba. One thing led

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to another and in February 1993, I had health complications which required me to be hospitalized during my exam session. Without the compassion of my teachers, I failed a course with no opportunity to retake the exam. Thinking nothing could be done to reverse this horrible failure, I felt I had no other choice but to quit my program (X-Ray technician). Having some money left over from my student loans, I decided to take an aesthetics course and moved back to Small Town to open my own home-based business, Stephanie’s Nails and Tanning, in March 1993. Since most of my work was from home,...
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