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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

2017-07-12 Marie-Claude Cormier

Marie-Claude Cormier

A student committed to overcoming her academic difficulties by staying focused

For Marie-Claude Cormier, perseverance is equivalent to never ceasing to forge ahead regardless of whether the road is a smooth or arduous one. And for her, the road has been far from smooth. Marie-Claude suffers from dyslexia and an attention deficit disorder and therefore has to work twice and even three times as hard to do well in school. But nothing will detract her from her goal of graduating from high school! Her target is crystal clear: to succeed, no matter what. And she draws her inspiration from her mother, who went back to school at the age of 30. Her secret to never giving up? A promise she made to her grandmother: that despite her difficulties at school, she would never drop out.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord

2017-07-12 Charles Gagnon

Charles Gagnon

A student committed to overcoming his language disability by making continuous efforts

Communicating is a challenge for Charles Gagnon because he suffers from severe dysphasia, a language disorder that affects his ability to express himself. This student at XXX high school has to make continuous efforts in order to succeed: he works relentlessly, attends remedial classes and uses the homework assistance services. And his hard work paid off because when he began high school, Charles was assigned an education plan with modified expectations but in just one year he exceeded the expectations and rejoined the regular program. What’s more, he raised the bar for himself by enrolling in a program focusing on computer science which involves voice recording assignments. After successfully completing Secondary 4, the doors will be wide open for him to make his dreams a reality: to take a heavy equipment mechanics course, obtain his Class 1 driver’s licence, drive heavy vehicles and pursue training in tree felling and wood processing.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord

2017-07-12 Maude-Sophie Villeneuve

Maude-Sophie Villeneuve

A student committed to pursuing her passions and creating the winning conditions for fulfilling her dreams

Maude-Sophie Villeneuve’s path was once fraught with setbacks but the student at Jean-Dolbeau high school learned from the experience that she needed to tackle adversity head on. After two years in the special education program due to an attention deficit disorder as well as severe dyslexia and dysorthographia, she joined the regular program, a remarkable feat she accomplished by rolling up her sleeves. But in May 2015, at the age of only 15 Maude-Sophie was struck by illness and diagnosed with cancer. After spending weeks in hospital, she returned to school only to suffer yet another setback in September when a relapse forced her to put her studies on hold. When she finally went back to school, this future administrative technician fully applied herself to her studies and got involved in numerous projects including artwork, the community kitchen and woodworking. She is also honorary co-president of the Héma-Québec blood drive at her school, a role that holds special meaning and that she assumes with pride.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

2017-07-12 Rosemarie Lévesque

Rosemarie Lévesque

A student committed to talking openly about differences in order to eliminate taboos

Rosemarie Lévesque has difficulty at school and has to consistently put in the extra effort to succeed in her studies. And because she suffers from a generalized anxiety disorder, she also has to deal with bouts of insecurity. However, despite all this, Rosemarie is an outgoing person who knows how to surround herself with the right people, drawing her energy from her relationships with others. Strongly resolved to attain her goal of one day pursuing studies in the visual arts, she gets involved on all fronts because for her it’s a way of achieving a balance in life. Colourful and carefree, she hopes to eliminate the taboos linked to differences by speaking openly about her sexual orientation and anxiety problems.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord

2017-07-12 Anabelle Dubé

Anabelle Dubé

A student committed to doing well in school despite difficult personal circumstances

Life has not been kind to Anabelle Dubé. Very early on, this graduate at Cité étudiante had to take on the kind of responsibilities that people her age rarely need to assume. When she began high school, she started working in the cafeteria to help ease the financial burden on her family and had to assist her brothers with their homework, help her parents had difficulty providing. Yet despite her difficult family circumstances coupled with painful bullying episodes that made entering high school very distressing, Anabelle chose to persevere. She spoke openly about her circumstances with the school principal, attended remedial sessions, asked for help when she needed it, surrounded herself with positive friends and worked relentlessly, and she did all this while holding down a job. The young girl who used to be bullied and struggled at school has now become a student involved in all kinds of projects: the yearbook, school canteen and school foundation. A perfect example of resilience!


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

2017-07-12 Laura Belzile

Laura Belzile

A student committed to taking control of her life and offering the very best of herself

Laura Belzile has had her fair share of upheavals in life. As a teenager, the many conflicts with her parents almost pushed her over the edge. She was then diagnosed with a benign brain tumour and this led to bouts of deep depression and serious drug addiction problems. But Laura has unbelievable inner strength. To get out of her situation, she sought help, from addiction counsellors among others, and today, at the age of 17, Laura lives on her own and supports herself. Determined to graduate from high school and then eventually pursue university studies, she knows that there are brighter days ahead.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

2017-07-12 Olivier Lachance

Olivier Lachance

A student committed to tackling his problems with a positive and constructive attitude

From the moment he started high school, Olivier Lachance had to make sustained efforts to not only do well at school, but also be accepted by his peers and integrate into his new environment. Olivier suffers from Ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay, a hereditary progressive neurological disorder. In order to avoid failing at school, he has to work countless hours and spare no effort. Despite often thinking he would have to repeat a school year, thanks to his constant application and perseverance, he will successfully complete his secondary studies in the usual five years, in the regular education program! For Olivier, the way to overcome problems is by tackling them head on.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord

2017-07-12 Mathieu Tremblay

Mathieu Tremblay

A student committed to not letting his physical disability define his life

Mathieu Tremblay has had to show tremendous resilience since birth. Born with a spinal cord disability that makes it complicated for him to get around as well as suffering from partial deafness, this student in the integrated arts program with a specialization in music at Normandin high school refuses to let his disability become a barrier. While doctors doubted he would ever be able to walk, strong-willed Mathieu took his first steps at the age of three. Although he knew playing hockey was not an option, he discovered sledge skating, baseball and dek hockey. He also excels at table tennis and has competed against Olympic-calibre athletes, and was even named Athlete with a Disability of the Year at the regional sports awards gala. Similarly, his deafness hasn’t prevented him from playing the violin and trumpet. With his impeccable grades, lasting friendships and amazing resilience, Mathieu is a source of inspiration for everyone who crosses his path.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord

2017-07-12 Alan Tremblay

Alan Tremblay

A student committed to rising above Asperger’s Syndrome and fulfilling his dreams

Alan Tremblay, a graduate at Jean-Gauthier high school, suffers from high-functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition that could easily have jeopardized his social interactions. But he has managed to come out of his shell and is about to complete his high school studies with impeccable grades. How? By working hard, attending remedial classes, building on his strengths, namely his sense of responsibility, and through perseverance and a keen work ethic. His dream is to become a security officer and he already scrupulously applies the rules of forest survival taught in the wildlife resources course and complies with the building regulations he learned in woodworking classes. He also designs posters to help his classmates adhere to these rules. His work ethic, desire to help and dedication also prompted him to take the initiative to help improve the signage on snowmobile trails in his region. Allan has every reason to believe that his disability will never prevent him from fulfilling his dreams.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

2017-07-12 Jérémy Plourde

Jérémy Plourde

A student committed to taking one step forward every day without looking back

Jérémy Plourde was born with immune deficiency and an unspecified neuromuscular disease and as a result needs large amounts of drugs, physiotherapy, breathing exercises and blood transfusions every single day! Despite having to make agonizing choices, such as between his homework obligations and hockey practice, due to his fragile health condition, Jérémy maintains a positive and upbeat attitude. As the spokesperson for Héma-Québec and Opération Enfant Soleil, he raises substantial amounts of money for sick children every year. And thanks to his unwavering determination, Jérémy believes that anything can be achieved and that, yes, miracles can indeed happen.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

2017-07-12 Louka Bouchard

Louka Bouchard

A student committed to persevering and forging ahead thanks to hockey

When he was only 2 years old, Louka Bouchard was diagnosed with leukemia and then, when he was in second grade, he was given the awful news that he had dysphasia. This learning disability, which primarily affects his ability to understand, made school all the more challenging and Louka had to repeat Secondary 2. At the age of 14, it was then type 1 diabetes that was added to the mix. But despite everything, Louka continues to believe that you must never give up hope. And he owes this determination to succeed to hockey, a sport he started practising at the age of 7. He has played in the midget league since 2016 and, with the help of a teacher, even set up a hockey team at school. “I still don’t know what kind of career I want to pursue, but it will definitely have something to do with hockey!”


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord

2017-07-12 Sarah-Ève Morin

Sarah-Ève Morin

A student committed to regaining control of her life and fulfilling her dream of owning a dairy farm

Elementary school was a peaceful period in Sarah-Ève Morin’s life but she started high school amidst utter chaos. As the victim of bullying, she suffered from physical and verbal abuse and her third year was all the more difficult because her mother was battling cancer and her father was suffering from cardiovascular problems. And to top it all off, she became involved in a toxic relationship. As a consequence, her grades plummeted. But rather than giving in to despair, this student at Fréchette high school decided to instead focus on her dream of owning a dairy farm. And to fulfil this dream, she created the winning conditions: psychological support to help heal the emotional wounds, remedial classes to get the academic grades she was capable of achieving and extracurricular activities to rebuild her self-esteem, like helping to organize a fashion show and the school prom. Sarah-Ève is without doubt the type of person who always manages to get back on their feet.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Montréal, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Laval and Montérégie

2017-06-27 Dave-Juno Robas

Dave-Juno Robas

A student committed to changing his attitude and behaviour in order to pursue his dream of higher education

Sometimes all it takes is one small trigger to turn a potential dropout into an actively involved and high achieving student. For Dave-Juno Robas, this trigger was football. In a period of just a few years, this student at Curé-Antoine-Labelle high school, who had a high record of absenteeism and was constantly failing in French and mathematics, has become someone who aspires to start pursuing higher education studies as early as next fall. And it is his resourcefulness, resilience and ability to meet challenges that have made all the difference. To continue to be in the football concentration program, he had to put in twice as much effort, taking summer courses and receiving tutoring during the school year in order to obtain the extra credits he needed. Dave-Juno fully deserves this achievement, all the more so because he also has to work in order to personally pay for the costs of his sports activities.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Montréal, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Laval and Montérégie

2017-06-27 Abderrahmane Atri

Abderrahmane Atri

A student committed to helping his family get through a terrible ordeal caused by illness

Nothing is worse for a family than to see illness surreptitiously encroach on their daily lives. A year ago, Abderrahmane Atri’s family was hit by this bitter blow of fate and as a result the life trajectory of this student at École d’éducation internationale de Laval went totally off course. As the eldest child, Abderrahmane must now contribute financially to help meet his family’s needs. And because this forced him to change the way he manages his time, he has to work twice as hard to keep up the pace at school. Far from seeing this as a burden, Abderrahmane instead seizes every opportunity to take on more responsibilities and give of his time to his community, while making it his duty to support his little brother in this time of adversity. Even though he’d have every reason to slow down, Abderrahmane perseveres, repeating to himself that brighter days lie ahead.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Montréal, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Laval and Montérégie

2017-06-27 Marwa Mashael

Marwa Mashael

A student committed to rebuilding her life in a new country after experiencing the hardships of war

Marwa Mashael was only 7 years old when, living in Syria in the grip of civil war, she was first exposed to fear, anguish, poverty, hunger and vagrancy. This life lasted four years. When she arrived in Québec in 2014, a whole new world opened up to Marwa, but she also faced the daunting challenges posed by a new language and culture. At the tender age of 11, she had only one goal in mind: to successfully integrate. She was first assigned to a reception class where, after just a few months, she gained a good enough command of French to give a presentation about her native country and participate in discussions. Conscientious and motivated, Marwa then managed to get accepted, thanks to her efforts, at Dorval-Jean XXIII high school where she continues to make progress and now even cherishes the dream of setting up a student committee to support newcomers in the reception class.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Montréal, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Laval and Montérégie

2017-06-27 Marie-Maude Painchaud-Bergeron

Marie-Maude Painchaud-Bergeron

A student committed to making her brothers and sisters, as well as her academic success, one of her top priorities

Because of a special family dynamic and as the eldest child, Marie-Maude Painchaud-Bergeron very quickly had to take on the role of mother to her brothers and sisters, and therefore sometimes had no other option than to neglect her schoolwork. But thanks to her loving and helpful grandparents, Marie-Maude found the strength to persevere at Monseigneur-Richard high school despite the tremendous challenges. By asking her teachers for help, attending remedial classes and staying strong, Marie-Maude has managed to maintain enviable grade averages in certain subjects and improve in others. Moreover, sports and extracurricular activities have allowed her to further demonstrate her tenacity as well as providing her with an alternative way of occupying her mind. She is not only a member of most of the school sports teams, she was also her class representative and volunteers at special events.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Montréal, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Laval and Montérégie

2017-06-27 Kushala Allken

Kushala Allken

A student committed to triumphing over a degenerative disease and graduating from high school

When she first arrived at André-Laurendeau high school in 2011, Kushala Allken was enrolled in transition classes due to her learning gaps. This coming June, if everything goes according to plan, Kushala will successfully complete her secondary education. For her, this is a tremendous feat because she suffers from Morquio Syndrome, a degenerative disease which for Kushala results in a decrease in muscle strength and, over the years, has led to numerous hospital stays. Despite frequent absences from school, Kushala has always shown steadfast determination in her studies. A true fighter, she has never let her illness get the better of her academic success, taking advantage of every available remedial class in order to maintain the pace. And today, her greatest dream is to become a paralegal.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Montréal, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Laval and Montérégie

2017-06-27 Daniela Brito Morales

Daniela Brito Morales

A student committed to never again allowing her learning disabilities to take over her life

Daniela Brito Morales was born in Colombia and for a long time attributed her learning difficulties to the fact that she was a newcomer here. When she began high school however, the reasons behind her many setbacks finally came to light: dyslexia, dysorthographia and attention deficit disorder. This Saint-Laurent high school student immediately began receiving assistance adapted to her specific needs and gradually began to improve her grades and regain confidence in herself. It was almost as if a new Daniela had been born. She persevered, caught up in her schoolwork and became more open to others. She also decided to join the school soccer team to release the surplus energy that was affecting her ability to concentrate in class and began exploring various extracurricular activities by becoming a member of the student council, the student radio and both the green and sports committees.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Samuel Asselin-Laflamme

A student committed to accepting his differences and fulfilling his dream of graduating from high school

Samuel Asselin-Laflamme, who has an autism spectrum disorder, has always been an easy target for teasing since elementary school and things didn’t get any easier when he started secondary school. But the student at Grande-Rivière high school has one sole objective: to get his diploma. Over the years, by being very well organized, by attending remedial classes and by dint of sheer perseverance, he improved his grades, managed to pass his core subjects and was finally transferred from the special education path to the regular program in Secondary 5. For a student like Samuel, this is an amazing feat. During this genuinely steep slope, he learned to accept himself as he was, and to accept that others didn’t always understand him. This is why, whenever he has the opportunity, like with the manga club and the Amnesty International club, he explains his disorder, builds relationships and manages to earn the respect of his peers.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Lena Côté

A student committed to carrying out various projects to fully develop her potential and become an engaged citizen despite her limitations

Lena Côté arrived from Russia at the age of two in the arms of her adoptive parents from Québec and at the time already showed signs of development disabilities. At school, these disorders led to increasingly significant delays. However, despite her learning and language disabilities, Lena has never felt like giving up. In high school, the young women adopted a “can do” attitude, began getting involved and even went so far as to successfully undertake work experience placements. Stubbornly determined to overcome her pet peeves, namely French and Maths, the Sainte-Famille/aux Trois-Chemins high school student also surprised many by taking part in a cooperation project in Haiti, joining the school theatre troupe and helping to organize various school outings, all of which proved to everyone that she could take her rightful place.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Élodie Boucher

A student committed to overcoming her shyness and health issues in order to start enjoying school again

Élodie Boucher was once a low-profile, shy teenager who never wanted to stand out, preferring instead to sit on the sidelines rather than take part in activities. Then, one day, despite irregular school attendance due to severe and recurrent migraines that made her fall behind in her studies, she yielded to the temptation of experiencing the joys of extracurricular activities, which in turn soon rekindled her perseverance in her academic work. One thing led to another and she joined both the Brigade NOEL, a group that organizes theme weeks, and the Solidarité committee that raises awareness of environmental issues among students. In doing so, Élodie became more open to others and made new friends. And thanks to their help and support, she has now caught up in her schoolwork, has significantly improved her grades in several subjects, has built her self-confidence and has renewed optimism towards life.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Simon Beaudoin

Un élève engagé à viser l’intégration plutôt que l’exclusion

Devant faire sa place tout en vivant avec un trouble du spectre de l’autisme, Simon Beaudoin a toujours visé l’intégration plutôt que l’exclusion. À son arrivée à l’école secondaire Cité étudiante de la Haute-Gatineau, il a refusé de bénéficier d’un accompagnement personnalisé, préférant aller au-devant des autres pour gagner leur amitié et leur respect, chose qu’il est arrivé à réaliser malgré les difficultés initiales. Puis, souhaitant aussi voler de ses propres ailes sur le plan scolaire, il a dû mettre les bouchées doubles et développer une éthique de travail très rigoureuse pour poursuivre ses apprentissages. Aujourd’hui en 4e secondaire, il gagne quotidiennement en confiance et est même parvenu à dompter sa bête noire : les mathématiques. Cette assurance nouvelle lui a également permis de se faire remarquer lors de sa participation à la finale locale de Secondaire en spectacle.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Audrey Grenier

Une élève engagée à ne jamais laisser ses difficultés d’apprentissage et la maladie prendre le dessus sur sa réussite scolaire

Pendant que d’autres élèves profitaient des activités sportives ou culturelles offertes à l’école, Audrey Grenier se consacrait plutôt à des séances d’orthopédagogie et à des cours de rattrapage. Après avoir obtenu un diagnostic de dyslexie et de dysorthographie dès son primaire, l’adolescente a été frappée par la maladie en juillet 2015. Depuis, des douleurs permanentes liées à un kyste ovarien, des stases stercorales et des inflammations à l’estomac et à l’œsophage l’ont empêchée de dormir une seule nuit entière. Pourtant, malgré ses absences répétées à l’école secondaire Hormisdas-Gamelin, son état de santé ne lui a jamais servi d’excuse pour justifier un retard scolaire. Bien au contraire, sa persévérance naturelle la pousse à aller chercher de l’aide auprès de ses enseignants et de ses amis. Résultat? Elle parvient à maintenir des notes au-dessus de la moyenne dans plusieurs matières.


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FINALISTPERSEVERING STUDENT AVENIR
Sébastien Landers

Un élève engagé à surmonter ses troubles de dysorthographie et de dyslexie pour vivre son rêve professionnel

S’il n’est pas rare d’apercevoir Sébastien Landers avec ses écouteurs sur les oreilles, ce n’est pas qu’il souhaite s’isoler des autres, mais plutôt qu’il se concentre sur ses études. Pourquoi? Parce que Sébastien est dysorthographique et dyslexique, ce qui nuit à sa concentration. Mais il en faut plus pour décourager l’élève de l’école secondaire de Gracefield, qui compte bien réussir ses études pour ensuite travailler en mécanique de véhicules légers. Car Sébastien aime les moteurs. En fait, il ne fait pas que les aimer, il vit pour les moteurs. Sa contribution à Expo-Sciences portera sur les voitures téléguidées. Et il s’est même fabriqué un meuble télé à partir de pièces automobiles. Malgré les difficultés, Sébastien ne dévie pas de ses objectifs et fait tous les efforts pour y parvenir, allant même jusqu’à refuser un voyage dans le Sud pour ne pas manquer d’école!


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