Laurels
Real Adults. Real Stories. Real Life.
Follow real Newfoundlanders' life-changing journey.
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Hayley's Story - Loss and Lost
How mental health realities led to a difficult time.
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High school wasn’t easy for Hayley

She struggled with mental health realities — depression and anxiety left her feeling lost, disconnected, and unable to see a clear future.

“I had no self-confidence or motivation. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, let alone go to school” says Hayley. “My biggest supporter was my Pop, he always got me through the toughest times.”

Hayley’s worst fears

Her Pop passed away, leaving her devastated and without her ‘safety net’.

“It was a downward spiral from there. School just disappeared. My life became a blur,” Hayley quietly remembers. “I didn’t have my Pop to help me through, so everything got worse. I didn’t know if I was gonna make it.”

Hayley needed help

She entered a program at a local mental healthcare facility to start working through her problems.

Hayley had to turn her life around — she knew she couldn’t do it without finishing high school. She realized she’d need financial support, a flexible schedule, and the freedom to learn at her own pace if she was going to succeed.

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Cameron's Story - Blue Collar and Bust
What happened out of class and after the boom.
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High school wasn’t a priority for Cameron

He didn’t feel motivated to go to class when he could start earning money working at labour jobs instead, like some of his friends.

“Honestly, I didn’t see the value in finishing high school,” says Cameron. “I was working for what I thought was good money at the time. I thought everything was great.”

Cameron’s ‘wake-up call’

Things changed when Cameron applied for a job at Muskrat Falls through his ‘in’ at the HR level. “I talked to my buddy in charge of hiring because I knew for sure I had the experience needed to do that job,” he remembers.

He was shocked and disappointed by the response he received. “He said even though I had all the experience needed, nobody would look at me if I didn’t have my high school. Hearing that was really hard.”

Stuck in a rut

Cameron couldn’t get the better-paying jobs he needed to move his life forward because he didn’t have his high school diploma.

He was only a few credits short but it felt like a major obstacle. He needed financial support, a flexible schedule and a support system to help him stay focused and motivated.

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Michelle's Story - Phoning it in
What a private pain can do to a love of learning.
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Learning was a struggle for Michelle

She had a severe learning disability which made school a very difficult experience for her.

Michelle’s learning disabilities and emotional distress prevented her from finishing high school — those struggles continued throughout her adult life. “I had absolutely zero self-confidence. I lived my daily life feeling worthless and helpless.”

Searching for the words

She recalls her darkest moment: “When I took my little boy to register for Kindergarten, I couldn’t fill out the papers.” She admits tearfully: “I had to use the phone book to find words that looked similar to the ones on the form. That’s when I knew it had to stop.”

Michelle felt powerless

A lifetime of pain and fear led her to a moment of realization: She had to get her high school diploma, for herself and her children.

She needed a lot of credits to graduate and she was scared. She knew that she’d need a flexible schedule and a strong support system to help her to learn at her own pace if she was going to rise above the challenges she’d always faced.

Stay tuned:

SIGN UP today for the pre-public release of Episode 2 of Michelle’s story about finishing what she started at the Discovery Center.

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