I want you to take a moment and think about all that you have to be grateful for, perhaps your kids, your job, your partner, your health. Now think about how you have come to have these things. Likely through a series of choices in your life, and likely because of people or a person who influenced you, who made an impact. 

I know that for me, growing up in poverty, I never thought that I would ever have the life that I do today. For me, that moment of impact happened when I was in Grade 10.  At the time, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd of people. I was drinking too much and lacked motivation in school. It was in Grade 10 that you had to pick the courses that you would take for the rest of your high school career. I had to choose between taking college courses or university courses. This was a big decision because if I took college courses, there was little chance of getting into university. All my friends were taking college courses, so I figured that I would do the same. No one in my family had ever gone to university. I was living in a trailer park with my mom, who was a single parent, and little sister. I remember that my biggest dream was to have my very own trailer. I know, talk about a dream, right? But for me it was, because it was all that I knew.

So I went to my guidance counselor to pick my college courses. My guidance counselor’s name was Mrs. Clement. I told her that I was going to take college courses and that I planned to attend the local community college. What happened next, changed my life. She told me that with my grades that she thought I was capable of taking university courses and of going to university. When she said that, I was annoyed. I told her not to push me, that I wanted to go to college. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer and told me that I had to go to university.

My mom, being a single parent, didn’t have time for things like course selection. My mom did the best she could, but I didn’t have a lot of guidance. I didn’t have someone to push me when I fell below the person that I had the potential to be. If Mrs. Clement hadn’t done what she did, I wouldn’t have the life I have today. I never would have gone to university and I never would have gone to graduate school.  I am living my dream today working as a Psychotherapist in my own business helping people. I am successful today because of Mrs. Clement. All because she took an extra five minutes to push me to do what she knew I had the potential to achieve. It just shows that you never know how your actions or your words will impact someone. By taking a moment to encourage someone, you just could change the course of their life. Keep this in mind as you go about your days.