Upgrading chemistry at Georgian upgraded young mom’s life
August 22, 2019

Brooke Hanna dreamed of becoming a nurse from a young age and pursued school with a passion, always getting good grades. Her plan was to complete high school and then move on to postsecondary education.

However, becoming pregnant with her first son, Alex, when she was 17 threw a curveball into her plans. Brooke decided to quit school and put her dreams of becoming a nurse on hold. Three years later, Ben came along, and three years after that, her daughter, Lacey, completed her busy family.

When Brooke was 26 and her kids were all in school, she decided it was time to get back to her dream of becoming a nurse.

Before she applied to the Practical Nursing program at Georgian College, she made a call to Academic and Career Preparation (ACP) to take their free Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) courses to complete a number of subjects, including chemistry. Funded through the Canada-Ontario Job Fund Agreement, an ACE certificate is recognized as equivalent to a grade 12 diploma by all Ontario colleges and many employers.

A young white female with dark hair pulled back in a bun. She's smiling and wearing a dark blue nurse uniform and a stethoscope.“I’ve worked in long-term care, retirement homes, have family with rare diseases, and have been within the medical field for quite some time, but I was never content,” says Brooke. “I wanted to do more and be a nurse like the ones I watched every day. I wanted to expand my skills and knowledge, but without the help of Georgian, none of this would be possible.”

Maggie Jones, a chemistry teacher with Georgian’s ACP program, sees many gifted students, like Brooke, who just need a slightly different approach to their education experience when they come back after an absence.

“Throughout the course, I aim to make sure that my teaching methods and explanations are clear and relatable so the students can not only just get the information but also understand, relate to themselves or previous life experiences, and use it appropriately,” she says. “I will fill any gaps in their educational background to ensure they meet the prerequisites for their postsecondary program, and sharpen their learning, organizational, test-taking and time-management skills.”

Georgian’s Orillia Campus is offering a free chemistry course, Sept. 4 to Dec. 11, with classes every Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8 to 11 a.m.

“I love teaching these courses,” says Maggie. “It’s so rewarding watching the students come in a little hesitant and then seeing them leave brimming with confidence that they can handle their chosen postsecondary program.”

Brooke is one of those students and is fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse. She will graduate from Practical Nursing with the class of 2020.

A young white woman with straight hair pulled back. She's wearing a blacak jacket and is smiling. She's holding a young girl with blonde hair wearing a pink coat. There are two young boys smiling and standing behind her.

“Academic upgrading changed my life for the better,” says Brooke. “It set me up for future skills and taught me about myself and what I was able to accomplish after not being in school for so long. I will always be grateful for my teachers who pushed me and believed in me during that year. I felt so prepared for my program and still use the tools I was taught during upgrading.”

For more information about this free course, call Jennifer Rousseau at 705.325.2740, ext. 3024.

The Academic and Career Preparation (ACP) program is available at all seven Georgian campus locations.