What’s your story?
The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.
People of Georgian: Meet Lala Kelsy-Braide
Growing up, everyone was getting married.
I thought, “No, I don’t want to get married. I want to make my own money.”
I worked in an office, but eventually I got married and became a stay-at-home mom.
Life happened and I stayed at home. This is not what I planned for myself.
We came here to Canada from Nigeria in 2017, and I wondered about what had happened to my plans.
I was going to be a career woman. Is life all about marriage? Don’t I have a purpose for myself?
I’d get up in the morning, get the kids to school, cook, clean… Is this all that life is about?
When the kids were really small, I didn’t really want to leave them.
As they grew older, I started reading about college programs and looking at different schools.
I read about the Child and Youth Care program at Georgian and thought, “This sounds nice. I want to give somebody hope.”
I’ve gone through my own challenges, my own trials, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for others, too.
I didn’t know how to do that in a foreign country.
‘She was changing somebody’s life’
Growing up, I always looked up to my eldest sisters, and I think my identity was tied to them. It took me a long time to accept myself.
My parents separated when I got into junior high.
When my sisters were away at school, I was at home alone with my dad and my stepmom. They were there and did all they could do, but I felt alone.
Then later, I came to Georgian and I met amazing people. I didn’t know a soul in Orillia when I stepped into the city with my computer.
My whole life was my kids. It was scary.
I’d wake up in the middle of the night and pray, “You need to open my brain. I need to understand what the teachers are saying.”
One of my professors said, “Lala, enough of what people have said about you. What are you saying about yourself?”
That day she didn’t know she was changing somebody’s life.
God gave me a second chance to go back to school and rewrite my story.
Alasoba (Lala) Kelsy-Braide, alumna of Georgian’s Child and Youth Care program (Class of 2020) at Orillia Campus. She now works at Apple Blossom Village as a Youth Support Worker for young people with special needs and mental health challenges.