Philipe Côté, a young man from Rimouski, received the Retour Réussite 2022 scholarship from the Literacy Foundation: this scholarship aims to highlight the persistence and determination of adults who have successfully completed literacy or basic training.
At 26, Philippe has lived with cerebral palsy since birth. He agreed to share his journey during the interview.
“If I start elementary school, I have always been in a regular class, except for the first year when I was in special education. I completed nine years of primary school. I started with preschool and doubled to sixth grade. After that I immediately went to Paul-Hubert because I failed the exams for the service in the sixth year, so I found myself in the special department of Paul-Hubert. If I told you that it was always my goal to finish high school, that would be wrong. »
The importance of encouragement
“It took me several years and more encouragement from several teachers to believe that I had the potential to succeed. Among other things, I remember one of my teachers at Paul-Hubert, who saw the potential in me and told me: I’ll give you the exams for the sixth form. I passed them that year. After that, I found myself in a bridging year, a transition between special and regular education. Obviously, I stayed at Paul-Hubert until I was 21, given my condition. »
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish all my high school at Paul-Hubert. I only had five years of high school left, but I had to leave. I’m a little sad about it, but at least I was able to get an average A at CFRN and be awarded a scholarship discount last week. I am very grateful and touched by all of this. »
“What I found most difficult during my journey was overcoming the pitfalls, given my condition. For example: I have my laptop here and I had it at school, but for my French assessments, I’m not fast on the keyboard, I type with my finger, but at least I found things, like a word predictor for successful dialing, speed up and do your assessments like everyone else. »
“Another example: laboratories, in science. Obviously, given my condition, I can’t handle anything. CFRN initially talked about exempting the labs, but in the end I decided to do it myself because I felt it was important to have all the units needed for my DES. That’s how I made them, but by dictating what to do to the technician. »
For other things
Now that he has his DES in his pocket, Philippe has started a secretarial practice. However, he has not yet received an answer as to whether these practices will succeed. He reports that his internship supervisor is working with him to find opportunities for him.
In his daily life, Philippe is passionate about singing, reading and listening to music. He also likes sports, especially tennis: “I still manage to occupy my days. »
He also recently registered with a physical disability group, Les Dynamiques, to do activities there.