POTLOTEK, N.S. – Nothing about Matthew O’Toole’s big smile, easygoing nature and positive attitude hints at a time when the now 21-year-old felt “lost” in school, as if he “didn’t fit in.”
Ready to drop out in Grade 9, the Potlotek First Nation man had been living with his father in Port Hawkesbury, struggling to get through classes at Tamarac Education Centre and Strait Area Education and Recreation Centre (SAERC), his then high school.
Seeing her son needed a change, O’Toole’s mother Loretta suggested he move back to Potlotek and he registered at Allan Lafford High School – an on-reserve school run by the band. That move gave him a new perspective on education.
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