Kristin Aimoe, a single mother, shares her story of pursuing a career in occupational health and safety with the support of Indspire. Kristen received two bursaries from Indspire over the course of her studies. She successfully completed the Occupational Health and Safety Certificate program at the University of Alberta in April 2012, then went on to achieve her National Construction Safety Officer designation.
How important was receiving funding from Indspire?
I had recently been laid off of work and spent the past 8 months trying to accommodate my work duties as a full time health and safety coordinator and attending post secondary schooling during the nights and weekends to “formalize” my career. Though I’ve welcomed challenges that arise when raising a child alone as a blessing, real life setbacks still occur. Indspire’s awards were very influential factors to the success of my past and current studies.
What challenges did you face during your studies?
The biggest challenge I faced during my studies was coordinating childcare and being able to afford the associated costs.
Have you found a job related to the schooling you just completed?
I have been fortunate to have found an amazing employer and team at SafeTech Consulting Group Ltd., a company that assists organizations with the development, maintenance, and management of their health and safety systems.
Any final words?
Thank you for supporting my journey and career aspirations!
My name is Carl. I was born to a Métis mother and Romanian father. I grew up in poverty and experienced more racism than I would like to remember. My 11 brothers and sisters and I were raised in Winnipeg’s North End. My parents were divorced by the time I was 3 years old. I bounced back and forth between the two homes of my parents and changed schools over ten times. I could have used some stability at that time in my life.
I believe the experiences I endured during those days were the ones that shaped the core of the man that I am today, and fuelled my passion to improve myself. When I was a teen, my oldest sister Amber began to connect with our Indigenous heritage, and she inspired me to join her. My life changed forever. I realized that my calling was to integrate Indigenous culture with my education and work to revitalize my community.
Today, I am a father of 3, with a 3.63 GPA, and I am working on completing my Honours Degree in Arts with Indigenous and Urban and Inner City Studies majors.
Indspire, thank you for believing in me. Your support has allowed me to make my dreams a reality.
My name is Daniel. I am an Inuk of Nunatsiavut (Labrador). This is my story about how Indspire changed my life.
In the summer of 2010, after graduating from Memorial University of Newfoundland, I was admitted into Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. Excited for the future, my fiancée and I packed our belongings in a U-Haul trailer in St. John’s and headed for Ontario. About halfway there, I received an unexpected email: I would not receive funding from the Nunatsiavut Government’s education program for the coming year. This was devastating news as student loans would not even cover half of my tuition. Upon arriving in Toronto, I contemplated packing everything up and returning home to seek employment. My law career was nearly over before it started.
Later that summer, I learned that I had been successful in my Indspire application. The bursary made up the monetary shortfall for the coming year, and I knew then I could start my first year of law school. I have since completed law school, been called to the bar, and I am practicing law.
Indspire had a huge part to play in this, no doubt. For me, Indspire’s support was the difference between a life-changing career path and the status quo. Very few organizations, I’m sure, can have this type of impact, so thank you!
I am studying to become a social worker at Sir Sanford Flemming College. Eventually, I want to move back to my community. Social work is a great way to give back to my community and to aid in educating future generations through being a positive community role model. What led me to the field of social work was the inspiration of my grandmother who raised me. She has nine children and is a residential school survivor. She graduated from college at the age of 50. She instilled in me a strong sense of self through her love, care, and dedication.
Challenges that I have experienced include stereotypes and assumptions about being an Indigenous person. Teachers in off-reserve schools assumed I had a learning disability because I learned in a different way than my non-Indigenous classmates. I experienced racism from some of my classmates who didn’t want to be my friend because they didn’t understand me or my culture. I had to educate my classmates and teachers about the realities that my people face.
What has helped me stay committed to my studies is the motivation I get from my grandmother. I wish to be a positive role model like her, teaching children the importance of education and resiliency.
Lynn Kilabuk has a passion for helping children. Her dream to become a teacher is now within reach as she is completing a Bachelor of Education program at Nunavut Arctic College. “I chose to study teaching because I want to help build my community and be a great leader. I have always worked around children and knew it was a career for me. There is a high rate of dropouts in our high school and I believe introducing new programs and activities can enhance the child’s possibilities for the future.”