He’s made mistakes and been wounded, but Jodell Stundon, like his classmates, is the fearless hero of his own story and so, he says, are you.
“For every story you have, there’s someone out there to match it. I feel that by sharing your story you can help yourself and give hope to those that are struggling,” says Jodell.
That’s one of the reasons Jodell, and fellow students in the Akerley Campus Adult Learning Program, have produced a documentary to share their stories. With the help of filmmaker Sobaz Benjamin, Fearless Faces tells the compelling and courageous stories of individuals trying to change their lives for the better.
The idea started with two faculty members, Melissa Randell and Kathryn MacKinnon, who wanted to provide a safe space for students to explore their stories and, through the process, gain confidence. They called it Fearless Fridays.
“What it did was create a family, a support system and a sense of community. So many of our students who come to us are survivors and warriors who have faced enormous obstacles and they have a lot of fear,” she says.
Kathryn says she’s seen the change it’s had on students, including Jodell.
“He’s still embracing his journey, but I can see that the wall is gone. I think he’s seen the goodness in everyone and in himself. He knows that he’s going places.”
Jodell adds, “there’s so much I’ve been through and it’s a struggle, but I’ve got that drive. I’m going to get my Grade 12 and have my own family. I want to be happy and to say ‘I made it.’”