A Story of Determination

A Story of Determination
Posted on 04/28/2022

Bailey Simone lost a friend to suicide in grade nine.  That shock led to what the 17-year-old describes as a lot of really poor decisions like skipping school, plummeting grades and defying her family.  

“I was then diagnosed with bipolar, depression and PTSD,” Bailey explains.  “With the proper supports I had to learn how to deal with my issues. However, this didn’t define me, it is a special part of my story.”

Bailey’s story continued when she nervously applied to join the School within a College (SWAC) program run by the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB at Georgian College in Barrie.   In SWAC, high school students come to college to take both secondary and college credits in a flexible environment. 

“I enjoy many things about this program,” Bailey comments. “I like that I am treated like an adult and have been made accountable for my work and my learning.  I have already been successful in one college course and am currently on my second one.  This will give me an advantage when I start college.”

SWAC teacher Rosa Bitonti has proudly supported Bailey’s growth in the program. “School Within a College and the Dual Credit program was built for a student like Bailey,” she says. “She is true testament that hard work, determination and perseverance can pay off and that there is hope on the other side.  When Bailey arrived in September, she had concerns that she would be able to manage both high school and college courses, but she has done just that!  She has thrived in the program and has experienced success at the college level.”  

The confidence instilled in Bailey through her experience in SWAC have led her to consider a career in health care in the future.  “The SWAC program changed my life and gave me opportunities I am so grateful for. With the support of my family and staff, I am looking forward to my future education to become successful in life!”