Three Nova Scotians aspiring to be a nurse, an accountant and a paramedic were honoured by Premier Rodney MacDonald in Halifax today, March 6, during a celebration of International Adult Learners’ Week. Sherry LeBouthillier of Halifax, Kelly Carter of Port Williams, Kings Co., and Stephanie Nickerson of Barrington Passage, Shelburne Co., are the winners of a writing contest that challenged adult learners to showcase their talents by expressing their views, describing their challenges and documenting their successes. “Literacy contributes to the strength and productivity of Nova Scotia’s economy and quality of life — and the adult learners who we are honouring today are an important part of our province’s success story,” said Premier MacDonald. “Educating to compete is one of government’s five priorities. We understand that improved literacy can open doors of opportunity for everyone, regardless of age, and this is what we are celebrating today.” International Adult Learners’ Week runs from March 3-9 and will be proclaimed when the legislature sits in the spring. The week recognizes adult learners from across the country and promotes the benefits of life-long learning. This year’s celebrations will focus on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it has done for literacy in Nova Scotia and Canada. “We should all have learning opportunities over a lifetime, no matter where we live or where we fall along the learning line,” said Ann Marie Downie, executive director of Literacy Nova Scotia. “No Nova Scotians should be left behind because they don’t have the education they need to fully participate in the workplace, help their children get a good start in life, or participate in their communities.” The contest drew more than 120 submissions from across the province, with the three winners writing about their dreams and how they plan to reach their education goals. “Winning this contest is proof that you really can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it,” said Ms. LeBouthillier. “I plan to graduate with my Adult High School Diploma and then move on to the nursing program at the NSCC Waterfront Campus.” Ms. LeBouthillier is a mother of three who always dreamed of becoming a nurse. After raising her family and working in the automotive sector for many years, she is now making her dream a reality. “Without the adult learning program and the support I have received from my instructors and mentors, I may have never gained the courage to follow my dreams. I am really glad I enrolled,” she said. The contest was held by Literacy Nova Scotia in partnership with Department of Education and The Canadian Council on Learning’s Adult Learning Knowledge Centre.