On June 2, Paul Leduc, 2012 Paramedic grad and founder of the Survivor Society, was invited to Convocation to accept the Alumni Award and to share a deeply personal story about triumph over adversity.
At the end of his first semester at Cambrian, Leduc began to struggle with a part of his past that could not be ignored — stress from a childhood history of sexual abuse was bubbling up, and he feared he would have to put his studies on hold. Instead, he sought help and stayed on track. Leduc realized that if he wanted to help others, he would have to help himself first.
After graduation, he founded the Canadian Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (the Survivor Society), which is a non-profit support organization that raises funds, organizes events, and connects men with the support that they need to heal themselves. He also found fulfilling work helping people with intellectual disabilities find employment.
At Convocation, Leduc told this year’s graduates that College taught him about his purpose in life, and that by following his passion, he has been able to help more people. He described himself as “one regular person,” but he said:
“One person can do extraordinary things. Through hard work and dedication, I’ve been able to create real, meaningful change not only in my community, but in the lives of my closest family and friends.”
Leduc’s inspiring story has been shared widely in the media, and he has become a national spokesperson for male survivors of sexual abuse. Cambrian has posted his Convocation speech on YouTube.
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