Raylene Meekis from Spirit North First Nation struggled as a teen, but this year she’s reached a personal milestone.
The 34-year-old received her high school diploma and has come a long way from her days getting kicked out of Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay.
“It’s really awesome actually… knowing how far I’ve come,” said Meekis.
The mother of three received her diploma from Keewatinook Internet High School—an online education centre for communities in northern Ontario.
Meekis credits a lot of her success to her grad coach Nikki Osborne.
She coaches graduates during and even after school to ensure they thrive.
Osborne said it’s the wrap around supports from staff and the students’ hard work that got them to the record.
“Just the determination that nothing was going to get in these grads way,” said Osborne.
Meekis said the coach helped guide her.
“She kept me on track and motivated to complete my work. It really helped me,” said Meekis.
This year was a record high for the number of graduating students totaling 38.
Keewatinook Internet High School was established in 1999 and services over 15 First Nation communities across Ontario.