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December 10, 2018 2:20 PM

Discover Your Future program celebrates first Brantford graduates

A celebration to recognize participants who completed Conestoga’s recent delivery of the Discover Your Future program was held at the Brantford campus on December 6. Many of the 14 graduates will now move on to academic upgrading to prepare for post-secondary programs that include police foundations, personal support worker and human services foundations.

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A celebration to recognize participants who completed Conestoga’s recent delivery of the Discover Your Future program was held at the Brantford campus on December 6.

Conestoga relaunched Discover Your Future in September 2018. Funded by the provincial government, the free six-week program is designed for individuals who may face barriers to accessing post-secondary education or who need help starting their post-secondary path.

“This was our first delivery of Discover Your Future in Brantford and we are very pleased with the outcome. These students have worked hard and will be moving on to the next steps in their academic journey,” said Tanya Kell, chair, Academic Upgrading & Workforce Development. “We are excited to celebrate this first cohort of students in Brantford, and we want to thank our internal partners, as well as all the community partners that supported the program.”

Discover Your Future participants completed academic and career exploration activities, received exposure to the post-secondary environment through college visits and participation in college classes, and increased their confidence in academic skills. The overall program goal is to increase awareness of the benefits of a post-secondary education and the alternate routes available for accessing that education.

Internal partners supporting the program included Student Success Services, the Conestoga Career Centre, Student Engagement, Student Financial Services and Institutional Research and Planning. Community partners who delivered workshops included the Canadian Mental Health Association, Laurier’s Writing and Study Skills Services, the Family Counselling Centre of Brant, Career Link and St. Leonard’s Community Services, among others. A number of other community partners also referred participants and form part of the Community Partners advising group.

“You’ve all worked hard to get here today. You made a commitment six weeks ago and you stuck it through,” said Erin Mackay, counsellor with Workforce Development, Continuing Education and Online Learning, during the graduation. “This commitment needs to be acknowledged and celebrated. It is through achievements such as this that we build confidence, that we learn to trust in our abilities, and that we work towards achieving our goals.”

At the end of the graduation celebration, students in the program presented a thank you card to Conestoga employees with the following inscription: “We feel immensely grateful because these six weeks have impacted us in so many positive ways and we are graduating feeling empowered, with a sense of belonging and many new friends. Please keep the program running and improving lives.”

Many of the Discover Your Future graduates will move on to Academic Upgrading -- a tuition-free program that prepares participants for further college learning, apprenticeship or employment. Conestoga’s Brantford campus offers upgrading programs in English, math, biology, chemistry and computers.

The next delivery of Discover Your Future runs January 14 through February 22 in Waterloo and the next Brantford delivery runs March 4 through April 12. For more information, or to refer potential participants, contact Janet Jones at 519-885-0300, ext. 5230.

Visit Discover Your Future for more information.

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