We would like to introduce you to “Sebastien”. He sat down yesterday with one of our placement students and told his story. The one thing that stands out about Sebastien is his manners. This is one respectful young man. Our placement student Darian, says he is an outlier. I didn’t know what that meant so Darian told me. “It is like when there is a pattern and one thing doesn’t follow the same pattern.” That is Sebastien. He wants to have fun like every other teenager but he now knows that in order to reach his dreams, he needs an education. He has learned this lesson sooner than most. Enjoy!!
Sebastien moved around a lot as a kid. He lived everywhere from his birth place in western USA, to a small village in British Columbia where he had to check his bed for scorpions before he would go to sleep, but he has found a new home in North Bay.
However, moving around this much did not affect his education all that much because he was still very young when he experienced it. He didn’t start elementary school until he had a stable living environment in North Bay.
Sebastien didn’t have any problems in school until he got to high school in grade 9, when he started smoking weed, getting drunk, and skipping class. Sebastien only went to school for the first half of his first semester of high school before he decided to stop going entirely. His mom was always fighting with him to try and get him to go to his classes so that he could be successful and gain an education but he refused to listen to anything she had to say because he wanted to be a rebel.
Sebastien didn’t see any point in going to school. All he wanted to do was spend his time skateboarding and making music all day instead of being in class. “The only good thing I got out of skipping school was that I had a lot of time to work on getting better at skateboarding and working on my music.”
The main thing that sparked Sebastien and gave him the drive that he has to want to get an education was when one night he got highly intoxicated and ended up getting into a fight. Sebastien was charged with assault and had to go to court. He didn’t want to continue this lifestyle of abusing substances and getting into trouble with the law and with his mom all the time so he decided to get his act together.
Sebastien tried to get a job with the assistance of ‘Yes Employment’ but he found that it was incredibly difficult to find any sort of work with the level of education that he had achieved at this point so he decided the best thing to do would be to finish high school.
Sebastien didn’t want to go to a regular high school because, “The teachers just throw work at you and expect you to do it, they barely even help you learn anything”
He had also thought that he would not fit in as a 17 year old whose age would normally fit in grade 12 classes, in a classroom filled with grade 9 students.
Sebastien was referred to Literacy Nipissing by his mother, who to this day continues to be very supportive of him. He has been a very good student since he has arrived here.
“At one point I couldn’t even do simple multiplication, now I can easily solve all of these long math equations”
Sebastien has been completely sober from drugs and alcohol for 7 months now and is still very passionate about skateboarding, music, and has even started his own local clothing business with a few of his friends called ‘Slums’
Sebastien has been thinking about his future and he is still undecided but he thinks that he wants to move back to the USA (after Trump is out of office!) because of the big skateboarding scene in California. He also plans on going to college once he finishes his high school courses. He would like to take video arts because of his love for filming skateboarding videos, and Polaroid photography.