Like many other high school students, Jonathan Pinchbeck had been waiting anxiously for graduation day to arrive.
His journey, however, has been a little different than most.
Instead of finishing off his high school years in a classroom with his friends, Pinchbeck worked towards his diploma from a room at the Ottawa Mission.
Having never finished high school as a teenager, Pinchbeck, 30, spent most of his adult life floating from town to town, working short stints at a variety of jobs.
After losing his job last winter, Pinchbeck went to the Ottawa Mission where he found assistance in terms of meals and healthcare, as well as an educational opportunity.
The Stepping Stones Learning Centre is a unique school in conjunction with the Ottawa Mission where a certified teacher helps to develop a learning program and set individual goals for adult learners.
For months, Pinchbeck dedicated six hours a day, five days a week to schoolwork in hopes of completing his diploma.
“The Mission has really been the platform for my reinvention,” said Pinchbeck. “Because of their help, I’ve been able to see my accident as being both a crisis and an opportunity.”
Pinchbeck is going on to attend Niagara College in the fall for mechanical engineering, and has received bursaries as well as an anonymous $2,500 donation to help him finance his education.