BCCCA has been involved in a strong push to increase its communications activities in an effort to showcase the industry and benefits of private post secondary education to key decision makers, stakeholders, government officials and the general public. Our efforts in this regard have included scheduling organized meetings and events with government officials and regulators including the Ministry of Advanced Education, SABC, PCTIA and QAF, in addition to increased public responses to media stories, and presence on social media platforms, etc.
As part of this new direction we would like to publicly highlight the great news we know is happening almost every day within the industry and, more specifically within our membership. In this regard we ask that you share with us your good news stories. Do you have a good news story worth publishing? Let us know! Please send your success story to Kelsey Keohane at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her directly by phone at 236-237-1431.
Here are some of our student success stories:
Community Support Worker Program | DISCOVERY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Sherry Bragg | 2015 BCCCA EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD WINNER!
Sherry teaches in the Community Support Worker Program at the Discovery Community College campus in Nanaimo. She has worked in adult education for 10 years, helping countless students achieve their goals. Sherry demonstrates what it means to be an excellent teacher, mentor and leader by helping students dealing with a variety of needs, including issues with self-esteem and history of abuse.
She is known for going above and beyond her duties in the classroom. In one particular case, a student withdrew from the program due to several challenges. Sherry spent three days looking for this student and convinced her to continue on with her education. This student went on to graduate from the program, thanks to the encouragement and support from Sherry.
Sherry is of First Nations Cree/Sioux descent and she is an Acknowledged Elder of the Pine Ridge Reservation who has dedicated much of her time to teaching aboriginal and Metis students in Canada. Sherry has helped support the education system by revising curriculum to promote First Nations knowledge and diversity in the classroom.
Practical Nursing | STENBERG COLLEGE
Justin Bote | 2015 BCCCA OUTSTANDING GRADUATE AWARD WINNER!
Already a graduate of Marketing Management from BCIT, and after 10 years of working in sales, Justin Bote decided to change careers. He did his research on potential schools and chose to go to Stenberg College for Practical Nursing.
A dedicated and hardworking student, Justin liked the idea of giving back to the community. He organized group sessions with his classmates and if one started to fall behind, he would do his best to help them succeed as well.
Mid-way through his program, Justin suffered a heart attack and underwent open heart surgery. Incredibly, he returned to school after only 3 months, despite doctors recommending a 6 month break to recover. Upon his return, he started living a healthier lifestyle and continued helping his fellow students.
He went on to volunteer as a spokesperson for healthy lifestyles, encouraging others to make positive changes in their own lives. After graduating, Justin went on to work as an LPN and health care aide. He plans to complete his RN in the future.
Executive Chef & Vice President | PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF CULINARY ARTS
Julian Bond | 2014 BCCCA EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD WINNER!
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ (PICA) Executive Chef and Vice President, Julian Bond, has done PICA’s culinary institute proud. This past April of 2014, at Where Vancouver Magazine’s 18th Annual ‘Where to Dine Awards’, Chef Bond accepted not only ‘Editor’s Choice, Where to Dine Award’ on behalf of PICA’s Bistro 101, but, was further recognized by the international travellers’ guide for “his invaluable mentorship and pioneering contribution to the city’s culinary community”. Chef Bond is also a ‘Industry Inductee’ into the 2013 BC Restaurant Hall of Fame as well as, the inaugural recipient of Vancouver Magazine’s 23rd Annual Restaurant Awards ‘Mentorship Award’ in 2012.
Aquaculture Technician | Excel Career College
Trevor Fraser | 2014 BCCCA OUTSTANDING GRADUATE AWARD WINNER!
With a life-long love of the ocean and wildlife as well as strong leadership skills, Trevor had a clear vision of his career goal: management in the aquaculture industry. So, when he heard that Excel Career College was offering the Aquaculture Technician Diploma Program in his small community of Tsaxana, near Gold River in 2012, he jumped at the opportunity and registered.
Trevor says work is going “awesome!” He greatly values the environment at Grieg, saying, “The relationship between everyone in the company is great. Lots of teamwork is involved, and I have had the opportunity to work with all departments, be involved with media articles and things like that. The CEO of the company even comes to the sites and gets to work. It is really refreshing – you would not expect that from a CEO. The whole company is just really supportive; we are like a close-knit family. Even the big boss knows everyone by name.”
What does Trevor like most about his work? “Living on the water – daily interactions with eagles, sea lions, and other wildlife. You can see salmon jumping in the water all around you; it’s just a really beautiful experience.” He adds, “I like to work and love the ocean, so it is a perfect combo!”
When asked how the training program prepared him for the job, Trevor says, “(It) all was extremely useful, but for me, fish health issues and the computer training helped the most.” He also noted that, “All of the computer courses really took it to the next level and gave me the edge for the promotion I am applying for.” Trevor is currently working towards an Assistant Manager position at his site, and looking to the future, he sees a long-term role in management with Grieg. “It is a goal that I have been working towards since the beginning, and I feel that Excel really pushed the envelope and gave me the extra jump.”
Trevor demonstrated leadership in the classroom and continues to be a leader on the job, volunteering to lead student tours and providing orientation to new First Nation employees at the work place. He maintains his enthusiasm for the Aquaculture Technician program and the work he loves and shares his feelings on this with anyone who asks. So, he was very happy to oblige to an interview for a WorkBC article featuring his training and employment in Aquaculture (http://www.bcbsides.ca/jobs-aquaculture-technician/).
Trevor is passionate about what the Aquaculture Program has given to him and what the program can offer to others. In his program review, he stated the following:
I have really enjoyed the aquaculture technician program. I find both the instructors and the information given to be very relevant to the aquaculture industry. I like the fact that most aspects of aquaculture are covered with good info. Computer courses offered are
invaluable to obtain more than just a position in this field; they offer the ability to excel in the work place. The course is a breath of fresh air in a town that offers little in the way of training and/or work. I appreciate the fact that it is being offered in our small community and intend on making the best of what is offered by gaining steady work within the aquaculture industry. I really hope that this course is repeated for other people within the community, as I believe it will help the community diminish the high rates of social assistance.
Police Foundations & Law and Security | TRIOS COLLEGE
Heather Hodgson-Schleich| 2014 NACC EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER!
Heather Hodgson-Schleich served 17 years as a police officer in the Region of Peel, becoming one of the first female sergeants in the region. Her career path took her through duties in general patrol, communications, drug and safety education and traffic services.
Heather holds several police and management related diplomas and certificates from the Ontario Police College, Canadian Police College and the University of Western Ontario. She is a member of the Central Ontario Crime Prevention Association.
Accounting and Business Management Training | WILLIS COLLEGE
Fallon Cybulski| 2014 NACC GRADUATE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER!
It is an honor for us to introduce this wonderful Cree woman. Like a Phoenix arising from the ashes Fallon Cybulski, indeed, had the Courage to Soar! In my mind and in my heart I call her Feather; as she is strong enough to soar with eagles, yet soft enough to nurture and care for a young chick, she can be bent, but never broken; she is wise beyond her years, yet youthful enough to see an entire world ahead of her. This is Fallon Cybulski.
Before arriving in Ottawa at the age of 19, life had already taught Fallon many life lessons that could be seen by most as negative and even shattering experiences. Homeless and abused, Fallon chose to make these experiences positive life changing events that would shape her and make her a stronger person. When Fallon joined the Courage to Soar program, which is offered by Willis College of Business, Health and Technology and Minwaashin Lodge (the Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre), which was launched to assist Aboriginal Women who are abused, homeless and severely disadvantaged, she was already starting her life journey over again.
As a leader she empowers other women by reminding them where they’ve been and where they want to be by changing their paths today. Classmates often looked up to her and often sought knowledge from her. She was available to her classmates for homework and tasks, always aware of boundaries; she would assist, but never take over, her classmates felt empowered because they completed their own assignment. She recognizes the efforts of others and has an ability to reinforce that in others.
Fallon is enthusiastic and a very resourceful; she enjoys challenging assignments; she looked forward to researching and finding information and always enthusiastic about sharing this new found knowledge. She is a leader who leads by example, never one to preach about doing “the good thing”, she quietly moves about, clear in her quiet confidence and her humble intentions.
In the ways of the First Nation People, there are seven sacred life teaching that we will know in our life time, they are; Humility, Kindness, Respect, Honesty, Caring, Sharing and Love and Humility. These are the values of a true leader; Fallon is above all a true leader for our Aboriginal Youth today.
Like a traditional woman Pow wow dancer, she paces herself, walks gently, has a kind spirit and her presence inspires other to do the same. She is an advocate on women’s issues including domestic violence; she has been invited to attend Youth conferences on the importance of education, and was a guest speaker at the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS} forum for Minwaashin Lodge’s Courage to Soar Program.
Fallon has a strong sense of self, because of this she is able to understand others with compassion and empathy, she inspires others to discover who they are, to walk their paths, allow themselves to dream and create better future for themselves.
At the beginning of the Courage to Soar Program, Fallon saw this opportunity as a small stepping stone in the right direction, even if she had given up on the idea of a post-secondary education and the focus on immediate survival took over any dreams of a college diploma, she knew it was the best opportunity she ever received. From that moment, everything she did was with passion and determination, to get somewhere that she never dreamed possible.
Because of her passion for education and her commitment to Willis College and the Courage to Soar Program, Fallon tutored some of the women who were struggling in the program, by spending time with them and calmly guiding them through projects and reviewing materials, all of this while completing the Accounting and Business Management Training at Willis College in January 2014. Fallon is reliable, dependable and respectful of the women’s time. For these reasons, I strongly recommend Fallon to receive the National Graduate of the Year Award from the National Association of Career Colleges.
Campus & HR Manager
Cardiology Technology | Stenberg College
Fawzi Ahmad | 2013 NACC GRADUATE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER!
A chance coincidence on a trip to Vancouver found a nervous, late-20s, Israeli-born, former soccer star sitting in the admissions office at Stenberg College. Fawzi Ahmad had just stopped by the school to have a look around. After all, Fawzi had only recently learned to speak English, and was still having trouble writing it; could he possibly be ready for college?
Sitting across from an admissions officer, discussing one of the healthcare programs, Fawzi’s gaze wandered to a wall peppered with framed awards and photographs, including one with a proud graduate in cap and gown, grinning, beneath the proclamation “2011 student of the Year Award.”
Less than two years later, Fawzi’s drive and dedication would see him achieve even greater accolades. With the odds stacked against him, Fawzi persevered, and his journey will inspire the ambition of students, no matter their field of study.Fawzi Ahmad is a graduate of Stenberg College’s Cardiology Technology program and is enjoying his career in health care, a field he dreamed of working in since he was a small boy. Now 30, Fawzi administers stress test exams and pharmacological stress tests (a procedure where heart rates are monitored at rest and during major exertion to discover abnormal blood flow) at his full-time job at Total Cardiology in Calgary, the largest cardiac clinic in Canada.Fawzi also picks up casual shifts at Foothills hospital. When someone is so comfortable and confident in their role, it can be tough to imagine their humble beginnings, but the college journey of Fawzi is a fascinating one that illustrates how determined students can conquer any obstacles.“All I wanted was an open door. An opportunity and someone to give me the chance to enter it,” says Fawzi, of his desire to have a career. As a new immigrant living in Winnipeg, Mb, Fawzi worked in a factory during the day and spent his evenings practicing his English. Fawzi was living in Kassel, germany where he played second division soccer, a sport he trained hard to perfect in his home town of Akko, israel, where he played professionally.In 2007, Fawzi moved to Canada after a major injury ended his professional soccer career. Fawzi was still on a waiting list for a college in Winnipeg the day he was accepted at Stenberg. he was excited but nervous. studying medicine is difficult enough, but learning about it in a language you’re unfamiliar with seemed nearly impossible. Fortunately, Fawzi found a way to cope.“I used to stay every day after school to study more and to improve my English,” says Fawzi. “The first two months were hard for me to understand the academic language and the medical terms. So, I had to translate everything to my language (Arabic) and put it all back together to make sense and be ready for the next day.” Fawzi’s hard work was recognized by his peers, who eventually came to him for help with their studies in the hardest course of the program— electrocardiogram interpretation. “That was a really proud moment for me because I realized I was succeeding and leading, not just keeping up.”
Fawzi’s inspiring work ethic got the attention of the college and they nominated him for the National Association of Career Colleges student of the Year Award. Fawzi was also nominated to be that graduating year’s valedictorian.
“I think winning the valedictorian award and the student of the Year award were the proudest moments in my life,” says Fawzi. “I was in shock. Actually, I said in my speech that when I was nominated to be the valedictorian, I didn’t know what it was at first. I had to look it up.”
This was a huge honour for Fawzi to know definitively that his peers and instructors were proud of him.
“I remember when the adviser at Stenberg interviewed me for the program that first day I visited Stenberg; I saw the picture of the 2011 student of the Year award winner. it seemed like such a faroff and impossible dream that I didn’t even think about it because all I wanted to do was pass the first quiz.”
With this support of his family, the English lessons with his best friend Raegan Neville, and an unwavering confidence that hard work will produce success, Fawzi excelled at his college experience, getting a job in the field he loves. Fawzi believes that if students believe they can do it and don’t give up on their career dream when the going gets tough, they can enjoy the same successes he has found.
“Our lives are full of hope and opportunities and when the door is open, you just have to enter it and don’t be scared or shy,” says Fawzi. “Always ask if you have a question. And try to listen first, then talk. give respect to others and smile and be modest. Modesty is like a treasure or a virtue, suspected only when it is advertised.” (Article originally found in Career Connections Magazine)
Performing Arts | Canadian College of Perfoming Arts
Since graduating from the first 2-year program at CCPA in 2001, Siobhan has had dual careers in performance and fight direction/fight instruction. She’s performed as an actor, fighter, singer, and/or dancer on stage and screen in a variety of periods and styles. Favourite credits include Mo (Mo and Jess Kill Susie, Harley Dog Productions), the twins Jessica and Julia (The Last Resort, Stirling Festival Theatre) and the world premieres of The Parliamentarians by Phil Rickaby, The Madness of the Square by Marjorie Chan (Cahoots Theatre Projects) and The Forbidden Phoenix by Marty Chan (Citadel Theatre and LKTYP).
Concurrently, she has been immersing herself in as much stage combat as she can find between acting gigs, and is a Fight Directors Canada certified Stage Combat Instructor. In 2009, she was a recipient of the Ontario Arts Councils Chalmers Arts Fellowship, which facilitated months of stage combat study in Sweden, USA and England. Her teaching career has taken her to the Paddy Crean International Stage Combat Workshop, the Nordic Stage Fight Societys Summer Workshops (Sweden, Finland and Estonia), FDCs National Workshops, and two European tours. Her company, Burning Mountain, co-founded with Actor/Fight Director Matt Richardson, is known internationally for their style of choreography which integrates techniques from various historical European martial arts with existing foundation safety practices of stage combat, combined with the needs of the actors process. As a fight director, Siobhan has choreographed for The Hobbit (The Grand Theatre, London), White Biting Dog (Soulpepper), Such Creatures (Nightswimming and Theatre Passe Muraille), Death of a Chief (Native Earth), several productions with Humber River Shakespeare Company and a growing number of self-produced short films. Siobhan’s performance and stage combat ambitions have come together often in the last several years, both on stage and on camera. Currently she is in rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet (Headstrong Collective and Urban Bard Productions) for which she is the fight director and playing Lady Capulet. Recently Battlers, a short fi lm that Siobhan co-starred in and fi ght directed, premiered at the Action On Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Science Fiction and Best Martial Arts Action Sequence in a Short. Siobhan was named Breakout Female Action Star in a Short. Recognizing that work begets work and that making your own work is paramount to creative satisfaction, she’ll continue self-producing short films and is currently writing her first non-fiction book.