People of Georgian: Nursing student rises from foster care to college with ‘amazing’ faculty support
January 08, 2021

What’s your story?

Our Georgian College community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives, and we’re sharing different ones each week.

People of Georgian: Meet Frankie Von Dahlen-Klaus

Being a model for Georgian’s MORE campaign felt very empowering because of the way I grew up.

To be considered a model, honestly, 12 or 14 year old Frankie, sitting alone in her weekend foster home, she wouldn’t have believed that was her.

I would have never thought I’d be on a poster or people would be calling me beautiful because I’ve struggled with that for so much of my life. I always felt less than.

I was a crown ward, which means when I was six months old I was surrendered to care.

I was adopted by close family but they were immigrants, so when the recession happened in 2008 I was surrendered back into care because they had to file for bankruptcy.

A person stands with their hands behind their back and smiles at the camera.

I lived in foster care most of my life.

I was very troubled growing up. I didn’t finish my high school, but I later got my GED.

I knew there were other people who were smarter, who could go to college, whose parents could help them later on in life.

And I knew I always lacked that; I judge myself on a socio-economic standard.

A person wearing scrubs smiles at the camera next to IVs on a rack.

‘Georgian showed me my worth’

But going through the Practical Nursing program at Georgian, my insecurities went away.

Staff would say, “You had nothing, you had nobody there, you did this all yourself.” That felt pretty amazing. It gave me quite the confidence boost.

My teachers were super understanding, and having smaller class sizes made it easier to get one-on-one support.

I have ADHD and had a bit of a speech impediment, so I was able to get help with testing and readings through Accessibility Services.

I worked very hard, and Georgian is a huge part of my story because staff and faculty were the ones rooting me on.

It was what I needed because growing up I didn’t have that at home with foster parents to push me to excel, so I didn’t focus on school at all.

Going to Georgian, some of them were like mother and father figures. They truly, truly cared about me, and I’m still very close to them even to this day.

These people really saw something in me that I didn’t, and it showed me that I’m meant for so much more. Georgian showed me my worth. My heart is so full.

Frankie Von Dahlen-Klaus, a student in Georgian’s Practical Nursing program and model for the college’s MORE campaign. She’s also a graduate of Georgian’s Personal Support Worker program.

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