A graduate of the Bridgewater Adult High School is this year’s recipient of the Nova Scotia Council of the Federation Literacy Award. Jocelyne Boutilier received the award during a presentation ceremony at Province House today, Sept. 8. It was presented in recognition of her outstanding achievement and excellence in literacy. Ms. Boutilier said she never dreamed she would receive a diploma or attend university. “I struggled to balance my role as ad hoc parent to my five siblings as well as coping with two pregnancies of my own,” said Ms. Boutilier. “I eventually had to leave high school and always intended to go back, but there came a point when I wasn’t sure I had the confidence to return.” Despite the heavy toll her family obligations were taking, Ms. Boutilier enrolled at the Bridgewater Adult High School. Today she holds her high school diploma and has received an entrance scholarship to attend Dalhousie University’s nursing program. “Ms. Boutilier is an excellent example of what you can accomplish when you believe in yourself,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “Her story clearly shows that the more literate and skilled we become, the better able we are to reach our potential.” “It’s such an honour to be recognized for my efforts in overcoming these obstacles and achieving this milestone,” said Ms. Boutilier. “I have proven that with a goal, self-determination and hard work, the opportunities are endless.” The award is presented annually to an adult learner who demonstrates outstanding achievements in literacy and makes a significant contribution to their school, workplace, or community. Thirteen Council of the Federation Literacy Awards are presented annually, one for each province and territory. Each year, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, on behalf of Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, co-ordinates the annual Council of the Federation Literacy Award for Nova Scotia.