Georgian brought MORE to their lives

From hopeless to hopeful

There was a time in her life when Frankie could never imagine being a student in the Practical Nursing program at Georgian. The resilient young woman that her teachers and peers know hasn’t always been so confident.

Years of moving between foster homes as a youth, and from one damaging relationship to the next, completely gutted her feelings of self-worth and prevented her from making any meaningful friendships or connections.

“I spent most of my days alone, my nights crying,” she recalls of her teen years. “I never did any school work or even cared about college, knowing I probably would never have a future.”

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Frankie, student, Practical Nursing

From introvert to the front lines

Wazeer came to Georgian as an international student in the Police Foundations program in 2012, leaving his family and friends behind in India to start a new life. Now a constable with South Simcoe Police Service, he wasn’t always so self-assured.

“I was a person who was scared to talk to people,” he says. “I always thought that other people were judging me or something similar. I just didn’t want to have a conversation with anybody.”

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Wazeer, graduate, class of 2018

From student to teacher

Marco was tired of the employment rollercoaster he was on for 20 years, getting laid off every five years as a machinist in the mining industry. He knew he had to make a career change to have more stability for his family, but stepping out of his comfort zone to go back to school came with some anxiety.

Learning that he would first need to upgrade his math skills through Academic Upgrading (now known as Academic and Career Preparation) before entering (and graduating with honours from) the Power Engineering Technology program, only added to his fear.

“It was a tough decision because you’re pretty much putting your family in a financial situation,” he recalls.

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Marco, graduate, class of 2018.

These three people, with vastly different backgrounds and stories, have one thing in common – Georgian College. Each was able to overcome significant difficulties and succeed in their program areas and career choices, thanks to caring and knowledgeable faculty and staff, as well as student supports at the college.

When asked to share their stories through testimonials for Georgian’s fall campaign, they were eager to participate.

“I felt the need to be open about my experience for future students who are considering Georgian,” says Frankie. “Being a student who transferred here and stayed for two years (and counting), I can say that this school has the right faculty and facilities to help any student achieve success, as I did.

“I wholeheartedly believe I wouldn’t have succeeded as well at another college, as I have been at others and felt like I was being drowned out with many others excelling past me. It was the connections and compassion of the staff at Georgian who understood my learning needs and helped me over any obstacles in my way.”

For Wazeer, his participation in the campaign was a way to show others they could achieve their dreams, as he did, with the help of compassionate faculty.

“Georgian helped me grow personally by building my knowledge and skills, which in turn, improved my self-confidence,” he says. “It helped me foster a strong character and the motivation needed to pursue a career in law enforcement.”

“It’s important for me to be part of this campaign because I would like to inspire other students and show they can achieve anything at Georgian. I also want to demonstrate that Georgian will support you and your goals 100 per cent and help you through any obstacles you face.”

Marco wanted to tell mature students who may not have done well in high school that taking upgrading courses to attend college and then have a successful career is very possible through Georgian.

“Once I started at Georgian, I realized that this is what school should be about – family, learning and building relationships,” he says. “The faculty allowed me to thrive in an environment where I was supported. This built my confidence, not only as a student but as an individual, too. I learned new skills in power engineering, but I also learned that I’m good at sharing my previous skills with others,” says Marco, who now teaches part-time in the program.

“The decision to go back to school in my early forties wasn’t an easy one … Georgian welcomed me and showed me a family that I had never experienced before. I know that others are feeling trepidation about walking through those front doors, or picking up the phone. It’s not easy but I had help. I would like to help others who are feeling nervous about starting something new.”

The testimonials and photos of these proud Grizzlies, along with Rob, faculty member and Georgian’s new Immersive Technology Lead, are an important piece of the fall MORE digital ad campaign, released this fall.

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