Why I turned to The Mission for help: Peter


Peter is an accomplished drummer, a good cook, and a man who lives with schizoaffective disorder. He’s been studying at MCA Ottawa Stepping Stones Learning Centre for a few years now, and his goal is to earn his high school diploma.

“I dropped out of school in grade 9, so there’s a lot of work to do,” he explains. “The illness started in high school. For a while I couldn’t look people in the eye and I was paranoid. It made school very difficult.”

He first heard about The Mission’s classroom from a friend at church. The fact that it was one-on-one instruction appealed to Peter, but there were still challenges to overcome. For example, taking the bus to class would trigger his anxiety, so he registered for Para Transpo instead.

He’s had to make a few more changes during the pandemic, like switching to phone-based learning for a while. Although he prefers to meet in person, he’s still adapted well. “Peter’s a very diligent student,” says Kathy, his teacher. “He brings a great attitude, and we definitely have a good laugh.”