"Now I get up early and I’m excited to go to school, every day."
Eden shared his story at the 9th annual Moonlight Snowshoe event:
I am a first year Take a Hike student. When I was in my previous high school, I was struggling to succeed. I ended up failing grade 9 twice. My friends were in worlds different than my own. I was left behind. I tried to catch up but I could not. The teachers there were not able to support me because they were too busy with everyone else.
I was failing because of my attendance, and the reason I did not go was… many things. I have lived on my own with my mother for my whole life. She had gotten very sick so I ended up having to take care of her and our home whenever she was incapable. I had barely any friends at the time. I was extremely stressed out all the time without any way to vent my stress. One thing led to another and I ended up failing twice. I did not have any more motivation to go to school left in me.
Finally my school counsellor recommended a change in schools. Specifically, an alternative program called Take a Hike. There is a stigma around alternative programs so I was hesitant to join. My desire to catch up in my grades however changed my mind. I joined Take a Hike, but I was still worried about what the other people there were like. Surprisingly, I saw some familiar faces and the people felt normal.
I was extremely dedicated to get good grades. I never wanted to feel failure again. I ended up getting honor roll in the first semester, for the first time ever. That was pretty impressive for me since all I got before was 30% to 40% in almost everything. The teachers at Take a Hike support me through everything unlike before. The teachers are more like people trying to help me find my way instead of instructors forcing you to do everything their way. The mix of support, outdoor fitness and freedom helped me change my view on schooling and my future.
— Eden, Student @Vancouver