Philippe Côté: model of endurance

Philipe Côté, a young man from Rimouski, received the Retour Réussite 2022 scholarship from the Literacy Foundation: the aim of this scholarship is to highlight the perseverance and determination of adults who have successfully completed literacy or basic training.

Philippe is 26 years old and has been living with cerebral palsy since birth. He agreed to talk about his journey during the interview.

“When I entered elementary school, I always went to a regular class, except for the first year, when I went to a special class. I was nine years old in primary school. I started in preschool and doubled up in sixth grade. Then I immediately went to Paul-Hubert because I failed the ministerial exams in the sixth year, so I found myself in a special education class at Paul-Hubert. If I told you that my goal was always to graduate from 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 my potential and told me: I’ll give you the sixth grade exams. I passed them that year. Then I found myself in a bridging year, a transition year between special and regular education. Of course, given my condition, I stayed at Paul-Hubert until I was 21. »

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t complete high school at Paul-Hubert. I only had my secondary five left to do, but I had to leave. It makes me a little sad, but at least I was able to make a high school A on CFRN and was rewarded with a scholarship discount last week. I am very grateful and touched by all of this. »

Overcome obstacles

“The most difficult pitfalls I faced during my journey were due to my condition. For example: I have my laptop here and I had one at school too, but for my French assessments I’m not fast on the keyboard, I type with my finger, but at least I found things like word predictors that can be successfully selected speed up and do my assessments like everyone else. »

“Another example: laboratories in science. It’s obvious that I can’t handle anything given my condition. CFRN originally talked about an exemption for labs, but in the end I decided to do it myself because I thought it was important to have all the units needed for my DES. So I made them, but by dictating to the technician what to do. »

For other things

Now that he has his DES in his pocket, Philippe has started doing secretarial internships. However, he does not yet have an answer as to whether these internships will work. He states that his internship supervisor is working with him to find opportunities for him.

In his daily life, Philippe devotes himself to singing, reading and listening to music. He also likes sports, especially tennis: “I still manage to occupy my days. »

He also recently registered with the disabled group Les Dynamiques to do activities there.

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