Priscilla Richard

Hello, my name is Priscilla M Richard; I am a young Aboriginal woman from the Chippewas of Nawash tribe also known as Anishnabe or Ojibway. My home reserve is called Cape Croker which is located in Georgian Bay, Ontario. I come from the Sturgeon Clan.

I attended the "Aboriginal Gateway to Health Careers" which assisted me in working towards my career goals. I have decided I would like to go into nursing and possibly specialize in the Maternity Ward. I have been accepted into the Nursing Unit Clerk Program, which is an 8-month program that started in January 2011. My plan is to finish getting my prerequisites for the LPN program as well as some grade 12 courses and then do some university courses once I'm finished the NUC program. Hopefully I'll be able to get into St. Paul's, or so other major hospital, so that I'll be in the union when I go back to school for LPN or RN. In theory, I'll be able to work part-time as a NUC while in school so that when I'm finished, I'll already have my foot in the door at the hospital. Of course it might only work out like that in a perfect world but it's what I want to work towards.

The LPN program was what really interested me when I first started the Aboriginal Gateway to Health Careers Program. But now that I have had some time and help to really explore, it has really opened my eyes to all the possibilities in the health careers workforce. The Dentistry Tech Program was also one that really interested me but I don't feel too pressured to decide right now because the prerequisites are pretty much the same for the careers that I am deciding on. Though things might change for me in the future, I will be taking my education to the next level and will always continue to climb up.

Orenda David

Orenda David is a mother of a one year old son and is currently on Income Assistance. Her family originates from Morricetown BC. She has grown up learning the Witsuwit'en language, Shuswap, Cree, Carrier, Spanish, German, and French.

Prior to attending the Aboriginal Gateway to Health Careers Program, Orenda had her grade 12 Dogwood Diploma. Her short term goal is to take the Medical Laboratory Assistant program and then go in for the Registered Nursing which will lead into the Nurse Practitioner Program.

Orenda was only absent once during the 18 week program and was never late. During her involvement with the Gateway program Orenda enrolled in an online course in Medical Terminology and completed it with 95%.

Orenda had a short term goal to gain employment as soon as possible. She accomplished this soon after graduating and is currently working at the Evergreen Program as an Aboriginal Youth Coordinator full time until September 2010.

Orenda plans to return to school in the fall of 2010 to attend the Medical Laboratory Program to start her journey. She will also be coming in a guest speaker to the new group to share her success and promote the Evergreen program where she currently works.

Cheyenne John

Hello, my name is Cheyenne John and I am a full-time student and I work part-time as well. I hail from the Interior of British Columbia in a small town called Lillooet. I recently graduated secondary school in June 2009.

I am currently enrolled in the Aboriginal Gateway to Health Careers program at Vancouver Community College. I plan to become a Licensed Practical Nurse within the next two years. I'll work for the required time than go into the bridging course to become a Registered Nurse. Later, I might go back to school to become a Family doctor or a General Practitioner.

Ivette Pena

Quoted from Ivette's e-portfolio she stated: "This program is more than meets the eye (as it) encourages discovery of oneself. We have explored about different health careers and have the opportunity to start upgrading for good foundations in academics. We have been exposed to the wisdom of the numerous guest speakers who are specialists in their chosen fields. We also have been nurtured by many of the elders in our communities. I feel that the most important aspect of this program is that we are encouraged to choose a healthy life style in order to respect our chosen health field and succeed in both."

Ivette is looking forward to pursuing a career in Nutrition. She is eager to become a dietician and use this knowledge to focus on indigenous foods and nutrition. Ivette is an Aboriginal Indigenous person from the Mapuche tribe of Chile. She is very proud of her indigenous roots and leaves the AGHC program feeling pride in the colour of her skin as strength and has found a sense of belonging.

Edna Scott

Edna Scott is a mature worker who has decided to make a difference in her life by returning to school to pursue her love of helping people. Edna is originally from Tsmshian Nation, Killer Whale Clan. Edna's birth father is from Grennock, Scotland and her Aboriginal name is Thunder Raven.

While in the Gateway program, Edna upgraded her basic math and worked to improve her computer skills. During her involvement with the Gateway program Edna has enrolled in the basic counselling program at VCC as pre-requisite to entry into a counselling training program. She begins her counsellor program in April 2011.

Edna has been working with her band and will receive funding to attend the counselling program. When she completes the program she hopes to work with individuals where she can share her knowledge and support individual that are in a time of change, transition, or need.

Her sunny and warm and well-rounded personality has been appreciated by her peers and we know she will do very well with this career choice.

Deborah Abou Ayana

Deborah came to the AGHC program with a goal to return to nursing.

Deborah is First Nations from the Gitanmaxx Band in Hazelton BC and was raised in Prince Rupert BC. She moved to Kamloops BC and lived there for 24 years where she raised her family and worked as an LPN for 13 years.

Deborah needed to upgrade her scope of practice to continue as an LPN. She moved to Vancouver to do this and tried on her own to navigate the system but kept bumping into many obstacles. Deborah was searching for her own accommodations while attending our program as she was staying at a relative's home. She secured affordable housing while in the AGHC program and was accepted into the Nursing Refresher program at VCC.

Jennifer Haggerty

My name is Jennifer Haggerty and I was born in Vancouver, BC. I am Metis and very proud of my heritage. I have completed the Aboriginal Gateway to Health Careers program and am working toward becoming an RN. I am currently upgrading and am enrolled in Biology 12 and Chemistry 11 at VCC. After that I will be moving forth to work on my university transfer course doing first year English, Psychology, and Biology. During this time I will be out in the field doing volunteer work. I hope to enrol in the BSN program by 2012 at VCC.

During the course of the AGHC program it became apparent how important an education plan is. Although it does take lots of time, research and focus, it is the most successful way to approach your goals. It all began with a single thought. From that thought my mind ran away with ideas... some were crazy and seemed unattainable, while others were smarter and maybe more easily achieved. While in the program I have had lots of opportunities to get to know the different careers and I also got to go on many field trips which puts a lot into perspective. But after giving lots of thought, I am now in the process of taking the first step into my short-term goals and have laid out my long term goals. If it wasn't for the Gateway program I would never have thought of becoming a nurse. It always seemed way out of my league. But once we went on a tour and heard from the other nurses I knew it was a perfect choice for me. The Gateway program for me is exactly that, a Gateway. I feel as though a thousand doors have been opened for me and the world is now my oyster! This program offers everything from upgrading to providing valuable life skills and certificates. I am not sure where I would be without this opportunity."

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