Jason Harris

Jason Harris

There was no shortage of family love in Jason's childhood, and many hours of his early years were spent in the care of an adoring and patient grandmother. Yet, by the age of five, Jason had been faced with life-threatening parental illness, the loss of his home and the trauma of his parents' divorce; enough challenges to frighten and bewilder any child. Four years later, we learned that Jason had been trying to cope with all this, and more, while suffering from ADD.

School time was always unpredictable. In addition to the public system, he was involved in Montessori and Waldorf, but Jason's behavior was too often unacceptable. Jay had no problem making friends; he just couldn't seem to keep them, leaving him solo with even more frustration.

In 1995, the Madame Vanier 8-to-8 program became a part of his life He would be dropped off at cottage 3 in the morning and picked up in the evening. With the consistent guidance, and firm but kind direction received at Madame Vanier, Jason's world began to change for the better. He became a witness to behavior similar to his own and began to understand, not only the impact his actions were having on those around him, but the reality of the consequences they generated for him.

Of course the challenges didn't diminish overnight when Jason returned to the regular public system a year later. However, with continued contact with Madame Vanier staff, an individual learning program and constant advocacy with school officials, you continued to see improvements.

At 13, Jason became involved with the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program, where he began to make true friends. Gradually rising through the ranks, Jason attended national camps where he made more enduring friendships while learning discipline, public speaking and life and leadership skills.

High school passed more easily, though not completely trouble-free, running his own physical and emotional marathon toward eliminating medication and overcoming his ADD.

Today, Jason is no longer running...he has sprouted wings, it seems.