When Timothy Williams dropped out of high school in 1994, he had no idea that it would take more than 10 years to get back on his feet.


Today, he’s more than a high school grad: He was valedictorian of his graduating class after spending a year in the Nova Scotia Community College’s African-Canadian Transition Program.


Next year he’ll start studying photography.


“I wrote my GED four times, and every time I failed math, I just thought that there must be another way,” Williams said yesterday, hours before his graduation.


After dropping out, he spent 13 years doing odd jobs and working for a roofing company. It wasn’t enough, he said. Taking the program with 19 fellow students gave him a sense that his career options are unlimited.

“I had no idea how immensely this program would change my life.”

This is the second year for the program, meant to help black Nova Scotians who want to return as adults to complete their high school diploma.

“This program gives the students a chance to work on getting their high school credits, but the uniqueness of the African Canadian Transition Program is that it’s Africentric,” coordinator Jill Provoe said.

“We teach our students the same curriculum that any other school would teach, but they also learn about their heritage, their culture, and we talk about those tough subjects like racism.”