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Andrew Overcame Lifelong Math Challenges to Pursue a Future in Technology

Andrew McCartan has been a resident in Kelowna for the past 16 years. He previously lived in Calgary and Nanaimo.   During those years he worked in the oil patch and in construction but always had a passion for technology.  After researching various career paths, Andrew decided to make a major change in his life and decided on the ever-evolving tech industry. He decided to study to become a Network and Telecommunications Technologist.  The program was offered as a diploma program at Okanagan College and Andrew committed himself to the demands of a very difficult program to pursue his dream.

However, one major obstacle stood in Andrew’s way; he did not meet the mathematics requirement necessary for this program.  He voiced his concerns to an old high school teacher who recommended that he visit Project Literacy to see if he could get the help he needed to upgrade his math skills.  Andrew was determined not to let the math requirement stop him from attending the program. As soon as he walked through the door of Project Literacy, he knew he had made the right choice.  He immediately felt comfortable and knew he was in a safe place. All the staff and volunteer tutors were willing to help him achieve his goals.

Andrew’s tutor understood exactly what he needed and tailored his teaching methods to how he learned best.  His tutor, “made things concise, clear and easy to remember. As well as being patient with me, it’s been a real pleasure.” His tutor helped him to understand math concepts that had previously seemed incomprehensible.  The tutoring was paced at a rate where he could write down notes and learn helpful tricks to solve questions that used to baffle him.  Andrew’s tutor helped him pass the required math course for his program and he’s looking forward to taking pre-calculus with the support of his tutor in the upcoming semester.

Andrew understands that Project Literacy is dependent on fundraising so he generously donates his time to volunteer at various Project Literacy fundraising events.

“I volunteer because I want to give back to an organization that gave a lot to me. Every time I volunteer, it feels good to give back to the community.”

After he graduates, Andrew hopes to secure a job either as an I.T. consultant, data communications specialist or network security specialist. Andrew will have a variety of choices after graduation, which he credits to Project Literacy by saying that, “I feel like I would not have succeeded if it wasn’t for them.”