By Kuma Buoy
Kuma is a second year student at Carleton University and graduate of the Students Will All Graduate (SWAG) program.
I was in eighth grade when a guidance counsellor called me down to their office. I thought I was in trouble for something. The counsellor wanted me to join a new program called SWAG – Students Will All Graduate.
At first I was pretty turned off about the idea. My guidance counsellor recommended me for this program because I was considered “at-risk” as a result of growing up in the low-income, underserved Debra Dynes neighbourhood.
But, even back then, I knew I needed something to really push me because some aspects of my academic career weren’t being fulfilled. I had a negative experience in elementary school with teachers who didn’t seem like they believed in me, and who told my mom that there might be something wrong with me. That really scared me and my mom about my future.
So I joined the SWAG program.
I know now that if I didn’t have a program like SWAG, it would’ve been really hard for me to make it as far as I’ve come. I graduated high school, and now I’m studying African Studies at Carleton University. I grew from someone who didn’t have confidence in my ability to succeed in school, into someone with the world at my fingertips.
Because SWAG really works.