Seven UWinnipeg Youth-in-Care Tuition Waiver students graduate
UWinnipeg congratulates the seven Opportunity Fund Youth-In-Care Tuition Waiver students graduating this week at Spring Convocation. This is the largest cohort in a graduation class since its inception in 2012. This program was created to ensure that youth who have grown up in care can plan for their academic future at UWinnipeg regardless of socio-economic background. Since UWinnipeg launched the Youth-in-Care Tuition Waiver program a total of 10 students have graduated from UWinnipeg (plus this year’s seven) for a total of 17.
Meet five of the students who are graduating this week (in alphabetical order). Each of them diverse in their academic path, but united in their enthusiasm of spirit and perseverance to obtain a degree.
Angela Carlson is graduating with the Gold Medal for Achievement in a 4-year Bachelor of Arts, with a double major in German studies and linguistics. She was drawn to UWinnipeg for its reputation as a smaller campus after a UWinnipeg recruitment presentation at Grant Park High School.
Always fascinated by languages, Carlson studied linguistics, the science of language. She was intrigued by how different people and groups around the world communicate. This fascination, also led her to learn other languages. After trying French and Spanish in high school, she decided to take German at UWinnipeg. After a course with Dr. Kristin Lovrien-Meuwese, her interest in German was peaked and she hasn’t looked back. In fact, she plans to flex her German skills in Germany as a foreign language assistant in the region of Saxon-Anhalt. There she will be teaching English at a high school until May 2020.
Carlson found her university experience challenging and rewarding at the same time. She enjoyed UWinnipeg’s hands-on, student-focused approach.
“My experience at UWinnipeg was amazing,” shared Carlson. “The classes were engaging, the professors were knowledgeable and welcoming, and I made a lot of friends in my classes. I feel that I formed some valuable connections, and made many fun memories to cherish. I believe the atmosphere that the faculty at UWinnipeg provides is more conducive to a positive learning experience.”
Until she leaves for Germany, Carlson is working with Communication Services Manitoba for the summer where she plans to use her linguistics skills.
Five years ago Jasmine Chubb would have never guessed that she would be graduating from UWinnipeg and working as a junior analyst at the Office of the Clerk of the Executive Council (Manitoba Government). She graduates with a Bachelor of Arts, 4-year with a major in psychology and a minor in conflict resolution studies.
Chubb credits her success to the help of the Youth-in-Care Tuition Waiver program and caring mentors and friends.
“I have been able to experience and achieve so much along the way to get where I am now,” said Chubb
Originally Chubb attended UManitoba but decided to switch to UWinnipeg for the smaller class sizes. She enjoyed the environment and found it easier to get to her classes.
“There is an energizing atmosphere at UWinnipeg,” said Chubb. “Even during the stress of exam time I enjoyed most of my classes and there are a lot of great and caring professors.”
She also found her professors to be charismatic and accessible.
Her advise for first-year students is “join a club or find an activity to participate in! Making friends and being involved will enhance your educational experience.”
With her life on track Chubb can’t wait to see what her future holds.
Tyler Linklater will be graduating with a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, which is part of an integrated program that combines kinesiology and applied health with an Bachelor of Education. Post graduation, Linklater will continue at UWinnipeg to complete his Bachelor of Education, and aspires to teach in the Manitoba school system.
Starting in care at the age of 10 years old, Linklater was finally able to find his path thanks to his teacher and basketball coach Lisa Carriere at Springfield Collegiate Institute. Carriere, not only coached him, she also took him under her care, and he calls her mom.
After graduation from high school Linklater was unclear on what he wanted to do. Worrying how he would survive, he was not certain post-secondary school was an option.
As a strong athlete, he originally thought of applying for a Wesmen Scholarship, while also toying with the idea of going to college, into the trades, or jumping right into the workforce. He then learned about the Youth-In Care Tuition Waiver program which sealed the deal to attend UWinnipeg.
“I was met with such acceptance and patience at UWinnipeg,” said Linklater. “From that point on I was a Wesmen and was very interested in playing basketball for the university.”
His interest in sports and eating healthy led him to study the science of sports, kinesiology. “You look at diet and function of movement which helps me perfect my craft (as a basketball player),” explained Linklater.
However, what ended up being a real game changer was his human geography professor Dr. Ian Mauro. After a writing assignment, Mauro pulled Linklater aside. He took an interest in Linklater and wanted to know about his journey and his future plans.
After the conversation Linklater was inspired to minor in geography and was amazed that Mauro took the time to chat with him and made him feel like he belonged.
“Growing up I didn’t have the best teachers as examples,” said Linklater. “Having my professor take the time and pull me aside and ask about me, and help me find my path was a big influence.”
Linklater plans to follow in Carriere’s footsteps and wants to be the teacher that has the ability to reach out to students, like himself, that were often over looked, or missed.
“My overall drive for becoming a teacher to help the kids who were missed is due to my mom Lisa,” shared Linklater. “She changed my life, and ultimately my whole outlook.”
Elected University of Winnipeg Student Association Vice President of Internal Affairs, Natasha Reimer graduates with her Bachelor of Arts with a major in criminal justice and a minor in conflict resolution studies. Since she was a young teenager, she has overcome many hurdles, including health issues to complete her degree.
Described as determined, she has become a role model and mentor that founded a peer-support group called Foster Up for youth in foster care.
Through Foster Up, Reimer has been able to help other foster-care students realize their potential to succeed. Currently she serves as treasurer and board member of Youth in Care Canada (YICC). YICC builds connections and helps create change for youth in care of child welfare services in Canada.
Most recently, Reimer went to Ottawa this past May to speak before the Standing Committee on Bill C-92, an Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.
“I was able share my story about growing up in the foster care system and my concerns about this bill,” said Reimer. “It is important to listen to the voices of children and youth in these systems. Children and youth from the system are strong and resilient. It is not for us as a society to judge them, but our duty to empower, uplift and support them on their journey.”
Reimer plans to continue her advocacy and pursue a law degree and continue her work and help support those in the child welfare system.
Teri-Lynn Wood was one of six siblings that were intermittently in and out of care since grade three. Knowing she wanted to be a teacher she was drawn to UWinnipeg’s integrated Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education program.
“Within my first-year I was already in a classroom, which I really enjoyed,” shared Wood. “It was a very positive experience.
Wood’s other passion is Classics, in which she already has a Bachelor of Arts as part of the integrated program. Initially she signed up to major in history, but after taking a class in Roman Society she feel in love with Classics.
“I love the story telling, the myths and the architecture,” said Wood. “The story telling can go in many different directions and it is something that one can really explore, and the Department of Classics is really fun and personable.”
This week Wood is graduating with her second degree, a Bachelor of Education, as the final part of the integrated program.
Wood has already been flexing her teaching skills with the Pembina Trails School Division in the Literacy Links program. This program had Wood going to pre-kindergarten children’s homes to engage in fun learning activities before they attend kindergarten. Wood is also very excited to start her new job this fall as a kindergarten teacher at Ryerson Elementary School, in the same school division.
Wood is looking forward to her second convocation, “My first convocation was a very exciting moment,” said Wood when she graduated with her BA. She felt it was personally important to attend to mark her academic accomplishments. “It was a really good experience, and I am really excited to attend my next graduation.”
With Wood’s love of school and learning this likely will not be her last gradation.
The Youth In Care Tuition Waiver program is a partnership: The Province of Manitoba Authorities cover living expenses, including housing, textbooks, and meal plans, while UWinnipeg covers tuition costs. There are approximately 10,000 children and youth in care in Manitoba. The majority are First Nations and Métis, and it is estimated that less than five per cent of those youth pursue a post-secondary education. Since UWinnipeg introduced the Youth-in-Care Tuition Waiver program many other institutions across Manitoba and Canada have followed UWinnipeg’s lead.
Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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