News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 8, 2008

ADULT LITERACY AWARD WINNER SINGLE MOTHER OF THREE WHO OVERCAME LANGUAGE BARRIER TO PURSUE HEALTH-CARE WORK


Premier Hails Winnipeg Mom As Everyday Manitoba Hero

A single mother of three who conquered language barriers in order to pursue her goal of working in the health-care field has been presented with the fourth annual Council of the Federation Adult Literacy Award, Premier Gary Doer announced today.
 
“Anita Martens’ story inspires us with her strong commitment to learning and her courage in successfully developing literacy skills in her second language,” Doer said.  “Her dedication to improving her life and family stands as a positive example for the community.”
 
Martens arrived in Canada from Mexico in the late ’70s filled with hopes of a bright future but soon found herself in a difficult situation.  She was a single mother with three small children and limited English skills.  Years later, Martens spent a few months in a literacy course and began to dream of continuing her education.  Her confidence grew as her skills improved.  She continued to work hard to improve her English and complete her Grade 12 and is fulfilling her goal of attending Red River College to become a health-care unit clerk.
 
Martens volunteers once a week at the Health Sciences Centre and is a member of the Learner Speakers’ Bureau and the Student Advisory Group.  In April 2008, she was a member of the adult learner caucus at the Council of Ministers of Education Pan-Canadian Literacy Forum.  Her motto, “I decided to get better instead of bitter,” perfectly summarizes her quest to overcome barriers of language, education and personal circumstance to better herself.
 
A medallion and certificate were officially presented at a breakfast co-sponsored by the Literacy Partners of Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.  Award recipients were initially announced by the Council of the Federation in Quebec City on July 17.  The Council of the Federation includes Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers.
 
More information about the Council of the Federation can be found at:
www.councilofthefederation.ca.
 
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