People of Georgian: Top 5 posts that inspired you in 2021
December 20, 2021

As we enter a new year, we’re looking back at the many incredible stories our students, alumni, staff and faculty have shared with us through our People of Georgian series.

Our Georgian College community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives, and each of the features we’ve published so far is no exception. Here are five of the posts that inspired you, our readers, the most.

Darda Sales: Paralympian finds ‘pure happiness’ in sports despite setbacks

It all started when I was two years old, and I lost my right leg above the knee in a farm accident.

My therapeutic recreation specialist suggested swimming to me, and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the sport.

My speed from the pool translated well onto the court, and in 2014 I was selected as a member of the national wheelchair basketball team.

I competed at the World Championships in 2014 and our team won gold. I also competed at the Paralympic Games in 2016, where we finished fifth.

Dustyn Paton: One comment changed the course of Paramedic student’s life

I grew up on Six Nations of the Grand River in a very low-income situation, and I never really had any dreams or aspirations to go to college or do anything to better myself.

I always thought I’d like to be a doctor, but nobody in my family had gone to college or university or had a job outside of physical labour.

I filled out a job aptitude test, and doctor, nurse and paramedic came up, so I signed up for a couple co-op courses with the local paramedics and a physiotherapy clinic. Back then, they would allow co-op students to ride with paramedics on the ambulance.

Nicholas Chute: Aviation student gets ‘incredibly rare’ job opportunity

I grew up inspired by aviation, primarily because my father was a volunteer at air shows since I was born.

Georgian’s Aviation Management program was an excellent offering for what I wanted in my future, not just from a career standpoint, but also to help me outside of academics. 

The program has helped me achieve one of my greatest dreams – organizing my own air show.

Recently, Wings Over Windsor announced a show running in 2023 in Windsor, Ont., with myself assuming the volunteer role of Director, Operations.

Cheryn Thoun: Director embraces new priorities after husband’s cancer diagnosis

In 2016, shortly after my father died, we found out my husband had cancer. It was very shocking and very unexpected.

Cancer is one of those things that most people say completely shakes you to your core.

I was cruising along, thinking I was at the pinnacle of my career leading the Communications team at the Toronto Transit Commission, doing work I loved, and the bottom just dropped out.

It was a two-year journey, at least, of getting my husband through his cancer treatments, but it really made us think about what we wanted in life and what was important to us.

Nina Shirin Sheik in scrubs, holding a blue rose

Nina Shirin Sheikh: Nursing student’s career journey driven by desire to help others

I have travelled all my life. Right from my childhood, I was born in a different country, and I lived in many different countries because my parents had to travel a lot because of their jobs. I have seen so many different cultures.

But one thing that has remained the same is I’ve always been driven to help other people.

My mom is a nurse in England, which is where I’m from. I started working in social care when I was 23 years old.

Eventually, I moved from England to Canada, where I got a job as the director of a program helping people over age 21 who have mental health illnesses and special needs.

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