“You miss it as soon as it’s gone,” says Pamela Neville about her four years as a Georgian student. Pamela came to the college as a soon-to-be-mom looking for an alternative way to get the credentials she needed to finish high school and earn a diploma. When she walked through the doors of the Midland Campus, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do but knew she’d be steered in the right direction.“It was clear to me very early on that Georgian really cares and wants you to succeed,” says Pamela. “Georgian made my experience stress free. I was supported academically and personally.”
Pamela started out pursuing the College and Career Preparation program, passing all of the courses she needed to complete Literacy and Basic Skills. She took eight months off after her daughter was born before returning to the classroom for the Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) program – designed to help students acquire the skills for entry into post-secondary education, apprenticeship training or employment.
Pamela discovered she was pregnant again, but as with her first pregnancy, she stayed in school to finish her ACE courses. After taking a few months off with the newest addition to the family, she applied and was accepted into the Personal Support Worker (PSW) program at the Barrie Campus.
“All of this was possible thanks to supportive instructors and an amazing student success department,” says Pamela. “They helped with everything – from figuring out what program was best for me, to helping map out an educational path that would help me achieve my career goals.”
Pamela says one of the most challenging aspects of going back to school was leaving her kids to take courses, especially during the two semesters of the PSW program. She also struggled during the first semester with a learning disability and her grades. But by the time she finished at Georgian, Pamela was set – she was offered a job at Hillcrest Village Care Centre in Midland within a week of finishing school.
“I put out resumes and got a call that same day,” she says. “I was surprised to get a job so quickly, but it was so exciting for my family.”