Teachers change lives every day

Thank you, Mrs. Pelley

Author: Nicole Gibson
Teacher's name: Mrs. Wanda Pelley
Teacher's school: Amalgamated Academy

It has been many years since I’ve last seen Mrs. Pelley, in fact it has been almost nine academic years. I have gone from a struggling student … who could barely earn a 50% in grade 9 … to a strong 3rd year social work student at the University of Victoria, where I am specializing in Child Welfare. I have already completed a joint arts major in Police Studies and Sociology at Memorial University, along with a certificate in Criminology. I am also currently studying part-time, finishing up psychology as a third undergrad at MUN. While school has been my outlet, it sure was not always gentle to me.

Looking back, junior high was not a friendly place (as like for many). The hallways are like puberty ghettos and bullies were always lurking. This goes without saying, my home life was not picture perfect; I had just finished a lengthy involvement with child protection, police and the criminal justice system. I was falling apart, just like the world around me. I had been traumatized for many years and did not trust easily.

I was lost, I was struggling, I really did not have a passion or a goal for myself. I had no motivation and things were simply tough. There were days I would not show up to school, and when I did go I could not focus enough to reach my potential. Potential that I did not see within myself, but Mrs. Pelley did.

Once I connected with Mrs. Pelle , I slowly started to let my guard down. I began to trust someone and I began to listen. For the first time, I felt like I had someone I could go to when I needed to talk, when I needed to cry, when I just needed silence. She accepted me, guided me and taught me so many valuable lessons. She was my rock, my idol and my inspiration.

She has seen me through many episodes of self-mutilation, the beginning tendencies of an eating disorder, issues related to the abuse I had endured … really anything that happened, she was my go to lady. I’m sure there were many times I would make her go crazy – being a stubborn child, I would never listen the first few times she would try to tell me something. But eventually the connection I felt was the beginning of what would give me the strength and courage to move forward. She showed me compassion when I needed it, she gave me the guidance to begin overcoming my demons, and tools to potentially one day learn to trust again.

I truly feel if I become half the woman this lady is, I will do amazing things for others one day.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You are an inspiration to not just me, but many whom have heard of the amazing care you gave me during some of my darkest times. You always went above and beyond. I am very unsure if I would be alive today if our paths did not cross on this wild journey. I truly wish nothing but the best for you and yours, xO.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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