Carson Fraser

2018 Gary Mason Learner Achievement Award Recipient

“I was always moved to the back of the class where I did not learn to read and write well,” says Carson Fraser. “The teachers didn’t pay hardly any attention to us. Even though we had a hard time reading, the teachers still passed us to the next grade. I can’t remember how old I was when I left school.”

Carson worked at many different jobs in farming, roofing, and paving until he was hired at the YMCA, where he worked for 26 years until they closed. Employers told him he needed more education to get hired again, so he enrolled in adult learning programs at a library. He was nervous but determined. “At first, I was very embarrassed with other people around, but the more classes I went to, the better I felt.”

“Carson is a person who has not given up on his aspirations to learn,” says his instructor. “The focus and effort given to his work is admirable. Carson is a dedicated and hardworking learner, and a positive and caring person who I feel lucky to work with. When we first started to talk about writing for this award, he was overwhelmed and was very unsure if he wanted to do it (and certain he could not do it). Then, as we talked more about it, he said he wanted to give it a try! Then he started talking about his journey and we started writing. I was in admiration of his dedication. To witness his progress has been wonderful, and I wish him all the best as he continues on his learning path.”