Four years and three tries for high school diploma
William Osbourne is the definition of perseverance.
© Photo Courtesy Mike O’Reilly Photography
NEVER TOO LATE — Four years and three tries later, 29-year-old William Osbourne graduated with his ABE. Now, the father of three wants to get a job so he can save some money and get a trade.
The 29-year-old Bishop’s Falls native just received his Adult Basic Education (ABE) from Corona College in Grand Falls-Windsor, and the recent graduate wants everyone to know about the importance of having a never-say-die attitude.
Osbourne was expelled from high school in his 2003 Grade 12 year. To this day he believes he was wrongly accused of pulling a prank that eventually led to his expulsion.
He was told to leave school; at the time he was carrying a near 70 per cent average.
Back then, however, Osbourne felt like he could carry on without his high school diploma.
“You can’t get anywhere in life without an education now, but when I first left school 11 years ago, you didn’t need it,” said Osbourne. “You could put in your resume and, if they liked you, they would give you a job. Nowadays, you need your Grade 12 education plus more.”
Osbourne worked a number of odd jobs to support himself and a growing family, but four years ago, he realized he needed to get his ABE if he wanted to start a career and dump the odd jobs he was doing.
However, going back to school after being away for so long isn’t easy, as Osbourne quickly found out.
“English is my downfall,” said Osbourne. “I can go in and ace a science course in about two days, but one English course takes me a month and a half.”
His road to receiving his ABE started four years ago. It took him three attempts to reach his goal of getting his ABE diploma, but he finally did it this year at Corona College.
According to the new graduate, it was the teachers, the location of the school, and the way the educational institution did things (like maturity credits, for example) that led to him enjoying the experience.
Now that he has his ABE, Osbourne is expecting big things of himself, but it isn’t all for him.
He has three kids at home and a supportive girlfriend, so everything he does is actually for them.
“I’m looking for a job now so I can bank some money and get a trade so I can stay here on the island,” said Osbourne, who said he’s open to studying any trade that has a large job market. “When you have three kids to support you don’t really care, just as long as it’s a high paying job.”
A few weeks after getting his ABE, Osbourne said the achievement still hasn’t actually sunk in.
In fact, if he wakes up past a certain hour in the morning, he gets the dreaded feeling that he slept in and is late for school.
“If I wake up anytime after 9 a.m. I feel like I’m late for school,” said Osbourne. “I feel like that to this day. It took so long and I wanted it so bad.”
Although he’s the one that had to put in the commitment and study time, Osbourne said he shares his achievement with a team of people. From former College of the North Atlantic instructors Ray Rowsell, Wayne Gidge and Tony Grimes, to his Corona College instructors Larry Jones, Pat Fudge and Mike O’Reilly, he said those guys had a huge impact on his graduation.
He added his girlfriend played a big role in his success, saying she was the one that gave him an extra kick in the butt when he needed it.
“The first two times I tried I did a lot of fooling around. I was barely showing up half the time…but the teachers never kicked me out or anything. They let me come back the third time, so they gave me my chance,” said Osbourne. “My girlfriend gave me a lot of motivation. I didn’t work, so she had to work.”