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Are you sick and tired of the news reports that many of our troubled young men do not know realize how good they have it?

Let me take a moment to tell you a real life description of a twenty- year old Dorchester resident. Travis is an adventurous young man who up to now has lived with his parents, Shawn and Amanda, who live in the village.

He went to Northdale Public school and then graduated from Beal Secondary School.; Attended Fanshawe College for one year and then off to work in Air- Conditioning and Heating that he found did not quite fit his 6 foot five, 220 pound circumference. "To be truthful he hated his new job."

Dad suggested that Travis go on line and check out the Canadian National Railway career web site. He filled in the application on line; sent along his resume and in due time he was asked to go for an interview in far away Hearst Ontario. Shawn even shared the 12 hour arduous drive with his son.

The interview went very well and on August 12th Travis flew to Winnipeg Manitoba and then by ski plane to Sioux Look Out. He has signed a two year probationary contract with CN as a Train Conductor. He is on call 24/7 for 90 train trips across Canada leading hopefully to be a qualified train engineer.

The 30 year work opportunity for the railway pays very well along with a full pension, all benefits along with excellent profit sharing options.

Travis realizes that he has his grand parents/parents to thank for much of his good fortune. "They taught him well to be a respectable, independent, financially responsible, hard working young man. He learned to always take the high road and not just be a follower."

"He has a concern for the welfare of his family with him being so far away from home; not able- to quickly return for family medical emergencies ." Travis looks forward to the day that he has his hand on the throttle/brakes of a mammoth diesel locomotive. The dimensions are very impressive: 73 ft long, 16 ft high, and 3000 horse power.

He is a young man capable of standing on his own feet to better prepare for his long term future. "Canadian National Railway will give him the opportunity to travel/appreciate our beautiful country from coast to coast at no financial cost to himself".

Travis has some wise advice to share with our young people: " You do not have to chase useless degrees/diplomas to be successful. There is a great need for those who want to explore hands- on- training in the trades. Remember to follow your own star; dare to be different and then you can be successful and happy".

Shawn and Amanda have every right to be proud of their son. It takes a lot of hard work to raise a responsible hard working young men. We in Dorchester, his neighbours, teachers, cadet leaders, should be very happy that our community helped nurture the likes of a young people like Travis.

The sages reminds us: "It takes a village to raise a child. An entire community interacting with children in order for them to experience/ grow in a safe environment."

Every time I hear the far-away whistle of the freight train at 6 a.m travelling through Dorchester I will feel safe. Travis may be in control.

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor in Dorchester, Ont.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com