People of Georgian: ‘Bubbles’ makes full-circle college journey

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The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Lisa Lavigne

To fulfil my desire to help children, I volunteer with Scouts Canada.

For the last 15 years, I’ve worked with children ages five to seven in the Beaver Scouts program.

The kids don’t know me by my real name; they all call me Bubbles. That’s my leader name.

Lisa Lavigne

I got that name from the children, who always get to pick a name for new leaders out of a Scouts Canada book called Friends of the Forest.  

It’s about a family of beavers who meet the Jones family, and they give the humans names based on their personalities. One of the characters in the book is named Bubbles because she is open-minded, proud, confident, and inspirational, along with her very upbeat, bubbly personality.

When I became a new leader, my two sons were in the program, and my youngest son told all of the kids in the group that Bubbles had to be my name.

So, I’ve been Bubbles for 15 years.

“It fills me up with joy inside and makes my day even brighter.”

Lisa Lavigne

The children I work with come from all different backgrounds and abilities. Being in such a small community, many of them eventually become Georgian students.

Once, this young lad came in my office, saw me, and said, “Oh my goodness! Bubbles, it’s so good to see you!” I said, “You can call me Lisa now.”

But to see these kids today all grown up is so fulfilling.

This one individual I remember vividly: very quiet, very shy, in his own little shell. To see him now grown – in postsecondary education and confident – it fills me up with joy inside and makes my day even brighter.

College was 24 years in the making

My own postsecondary journey wasn’t so straightforward.

I started at Georgian back in 1994 with the General Arts and Sciences program. At the time, I did not know yet what I wanted to do or which direction I wanted to go in.

Eventually, I discovered Child and Youth Care and moved to Alberta to take a program out there.

‘I took a year off… and life happened’

I took a year off to work and save money – and life happened. I was going to be expecting my first child, so I moved back to Ontario to focus on my family.

Education had to be put on the backburner.

Unfortunately, by the time I decided to return to school in 2016, Child and Youth Care was not in the cards for me anymore.

In 2013, my oldest son was hit by a car, and he suffers a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. I didn’t want to burn myself out working with children all day and then dealing with my son’s needs at home.

Lisa Lavigne with her sons
Lisa with her sons.

‘At Georgian, I saw how much of a community we are’

I explored other options, and that’s how I ended up taking the Office Administration – Executive (co-op) program.

While at Georgian the second time around, I also worked in the Athletic Centre, as a director and then VP Administration with the Georgian College Students’ Association (GCSA), and in the Centre for Marine Training and Research as an office assistant.

While working at Georgian, I saw how much of a community we are.

It doesn’t matter which department we work in or what we specialize in, we’re there for each other. When someone needs support, we’re there to provide it.

I never thought in my wildest dreams when I came back to Georgian that I’d be working for Georgian, but I couldn’t ask for a better place to work.

Lisa Lavigne, alumna from Georgian’s Office Administration – Executive (co-op) program (class of 2018) and currently an Academic Program Assistant at Georgian’s Owen Sound Campus.

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