The talk from Bonnie Morton of the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry will be remembered most for her personal story and the many obstacles she has overcame in her life. It was a powerful story including poverty, abuse, how the system failed her, how it helped her, and how education has become an integral part in her facing challenges.
One thing that stood out to me from her talk was the the social worker in Regina (?) who actually wanted to help her, beyond signing her welfare cheque every month. He worked with her directly and indirectly through schools to diagnose her learning disability and attain a high school diploma, undergraduate, and currently her masters. This is inspiring when thinking about teaching someday when there will be many circumstances when taking the easy way out is an alternative, but you know you can and should do more. Not that I think I am personally going to save students from their problems or challenges, but the teacher is undoubtedly a large link in his/her students’ lives that has the potential to guide and lead them to different or better places. Or, if we always take the easy way out and refuse to do the necessary hard work involved, students may miss opportunities that could benefit them.
The Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry does this hard work, through its social justice, advocacy, and educational arms. It was useful for our class to hear Bonnie’s story and the issues that exist in Regina and are being dealt with by organizations such as hers.