Meet the Class: Faculty of Health and Community Studies

July 14, 2021 | Society, Health

Graduates of the Faculty of Health and Community Studies are ready to venture into the community and weave themselves into the fabric of our society. Whether in health care, child and youth care, social work or corrections, we know they’re destined to make a difference.

Temi Adebisi, Bachelor of Social Work


Looking back at my time at MacEwan, I cherish my relationships with my colleagues, the ability to be vulnerable and the ability to see strength in that vulnerability.

For me, advocating and standing up for children and families means standing with them – seeing them from a strength-based perspective, making sure their voices and needs are heard, and working out ways to help find solutions to their problems. When families get the help they need, it makes them feel stronger, gives them hope that things can be better, and makes them more willing to work with partners and access the resources they need. 

Victoria Eeles, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care

Dean’s Medal Recipient


In my second year at MacEwan, I took the bus home and a friend in my program rode with me every day. We would spend almost an hour talking about what we were learning and our practicum experiences. I’m so grateful for those talks. They shaped me and my learning a lot. My best advice for new students? Make as many friends as you can, especially with people who you wouldn’t normally talk to.

I currently have two jobs that I love, and I hope to keep doing this work for a long time to come. I love being in the room when a person is able to start living in a way that hurts less. I love being a part of the healing process in whatever way I can. Working toward healing when we're young can prevent a lot of suffering down the road.

For me, child and youth care is about being in the moment and being kind to your past and future selves.

Sandra Hawkins, Special Needs Educational Assistant Certificate


I had already worked with adults with disabilities for many years before I decided to take the Special Needs Educational Assistant program. Pursuing this new path allowed me to combine my interests in working with children and helping individuals with special needs.

My courses were all done through distance learning, so I was able to balance family life and work. I was pleasantly surprised with the candid responses many of my classmates shared in our online discussion assignments. People were so willing to share their personal stories and reflections, and the openness and honesty I saw in my classmates both enhanced my learning experience and validated my decision to choose this program.

I’m looking forward to continuing to grow in my role as an educational assistant at the K-12 school where I work. I know that the more I do, the more of a benefit I will be to both the students I work with and my own children. I am currently deciding whether to "take the leap" and start moving towards becoming an elementary school teacher.

Sarah Hunt, Police and Investigations Diploma, Investigative Studies

Dean’s Medal Recipient


I was always the kid who read mystery novels and watched crime shows and I’ve always gone out of my way to learn everything I can about computers and technology on my own time, but I had never really considered cybersecurity. Everything happened so fast – I even had my job interview smack between my last two final exams – and I was lucky enough to be chosen for a new pilot cybersecurity initiative with Service Alberta.

I’m excited to put what I learned at MacEwan to good use in a growing field and will be spending the next two years studying computer science while working full-time for the Government of Alberta, soaking up as much as I can about the different cybersecurity disciplines. Ultimately, I hope to earn my cyber investigator’s licence.

Connor Kitching, Police and Investigations Diploma, Investigative Studies


Before I entered the program I had a deep appreciation and interest in police, investigations and forensics, which is why I decided to take this program. But my early academic successes pushed me to realize that I could do more.

A lot of my program focused on criminal law, and the more I learned, the more I discovered that I had a passion not just for law, but for learning. Without this program, I would not have had the confidence to pursue that passion further. Now I’m enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program and I intend to go to law school in the future. I want to become a lawyer and make a difference in the world by being ethical in my practice, displaying unconditional kindness to others and being professional and objective in my work.

Mathieu Lacerte, Child and Youth Care Diploma


During my first practicum, I knew that I was in the field I always wanted to be in. I moved here from Quebec to study in English and specialize in a program that we don't have back home. The Child and Youth Care program involves amazing introspection and openness to the lives of many people, and working with youth is really something I see myself doing for a long period of time.

I'm excited to be starting a master's degree in child and youth care studies at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow.

Katie Mayo, Correctional Services Diploma


I was a terrible student in high school. For many years, I felt it was a reflection of my abilities and intelligence. Good grades always felt out of reach until the first time I received an A+ on an assignment in this program — because I was actually engaged in and passionate about what I was studying. And with the support of the amazing faculty, it was easy to stay focused and work hard.

Between the time I started and finished this program, I got married and had two babies. In my second year as I was writing my final exams, I was pregnant and one week away from my due date. I was very proud that at 38 weeks pregnant (with an 18-month-old at home) I wrote — and did very well on! — all three of my finals.

It was challenging some days – my husband and I were juggling our kids, our jobs, a home and life – but it was also extremely rewarding. I’m going to continue my education and hope to get a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. I know it will mean very carefully balancing my life, professional and academic career, but my time at MacEwan has shown me that, though the journey doesn’t always look the way you thought it might, you can reach your goals if you are willing to put in the time and effort.

Estefany Rodriguez, Hearing Aid Practitioner Diploma


When people first try hearing aids, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Hearing so many sounds at once that they haven't heard naturally in years can feel like a lot. But when they come back a week or two later and tell you all about how they heard the birds for the first time in a long time, or that they don't have to ask their kids to repeat themselves as often, or how they feel included in group conversations again is such a heartwarming feeling. I feel really lucky to be part of their journey.

When I started this program, I didn’t think I could work full time and take on a full-time course load, but here I am. I completed most of my studies through long-distance learning from British Columbia, so it was incredible to get to meet my classmates in person for the labs at the end of our program. I don't think I would have made it through those two very long and challenging lab weeks without our late-night study sessions and the support of my peers. I am so proud of all of us and what we accomplished. It was exhausting, but so worth it in the end.



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