“We’re no different if we can do the job” Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing students Amanda, Amy and Kayla

women-in-trades

 

When you walk into the multi-story KUBE structure in the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre, Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing students Amanda Hancock, Amy French and Kayla Wilford do not stand out amongst the group of students welding pipes, finding parts, and polishing finished projects.

And that’s just the way they like it.

“I don’t feel any different,” said Amanda on being a woman in trades. “They help when needed and I love it here.”

Amanda’s classmate Amy agrees, adding, “We all help each other out.”

It wasn’t too long ago when there weren’t many female students in trades programs at Fleming College. Since 2014, when the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre opened at the Sutherland Campus, enrolment of female students grew from 3 per cent to 12 per cent.

Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing program coordinator Neil Maika said that while trades may still be a male-dominated industry, women employed in trades careers is on the rise.

“There is an immense opportunity here. Multiple employment paths are becoming available,” said Neil. “Also, all of my students are great. They respect each other, they help each other, and they are all very professional. All students are treated equally by both faculty and their peers, whether female or male.”

First-semester student Amanda said she did have some concerns before she enrolled.

After hearing amazing things about Fleming College from her brother, who took the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning program, Amanda decided to give trades a try three years after graduating from high school. Amanda chose the plumbing program based on the recommendation of her friend’s stepfather, who is a plumber and loves his profession.

“I was worried about it myself, but they’re all nice. It’s no different being a girl here,” said Amanda. “We’re no different if we can do the job. And all the guys here are very friendly, kind and supportive.”

Her classmate Kayla, on the other hand, had no hesitation enrolling in the Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing program right after high school.

“I spent the last two summers working in trades with a friend. I helped with renovations, basic labour, installing showerheads, things like that,” said Kayla, who graduated from Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School last year. “I was torn between going straight into an apprenticeship or taking this program. I decided to take this program to help figure out if plumbing is the trade I want to do, instead of going straight into a specific apprenticeship.”

In the Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing program, students learn a variety of trade-specific skills. They are also introduced to installing, maintaining and repairing piping systems in residential, commercial and industrial settings to enhance employment opportunities.

Amy French, a mature student who started college after having children, said she chose the program based on job prospects.

“I’m told women in trades are wanted and needed, and specifically asked for, so here I am,” said Amy. “I chose plumbing because plumbing was the most expensive construction cost, and I want to build my own house one day. I feel like it’s the right career path.”

Amy said she feels being a mature student gives her an advantage. She feels more mature now than she did right after high school, she doesn’t party, and she is very focused on finishing school.

Her advice to current students is don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Amanda added that there are many resources available for help, such as asking faculty when you have questions, signing up for tutoring, and taking advantage of D2L.

Kayla reminds students to stay focused on school. “Pay attention, get your homework done, get your projects done—focus,” she said.

Recreation and Leisure Services placement is ‘gold’ to Keary Dean, who went to Whistler Olympic Park

keary-deanKeary Dean believes you get out of life what you put into it, which is why the Fleming College graduate chose a program that speaks to his values and could help him begin a career and education journey that’s meaningful to him.

“It seemed like a great place to start when you were, like me, unsure of what exactly to do career-wise. Because the job opportunities are so varied, it gave me room to be flexible and figure things out along the way,” said Keary of Fleming’s Recreation and Leisure Services program. “This program valued the elements of good-natured fun, leadership development and healthy living—this stuff really appealed to me. Lastly, I was sold on the potential of having an adventurous placement experience.”

In the Recreation and Leisure Services program, students learn:

  • how to manage and develop recreation programs
  • marketing and human resources
  • event management and facilities operations
  • inclusive recreation
  • research
  • leisure and lifestyle enhancement, and more.

In this program, students also develop leadership skills and gain new skills through field trips such as rock climbing, high/low rope, canoeing, kayaking, theatre, golf, swimming, caving and hiking. At the end of the program, students apply their skills in a four-month placement.

“My experience at Fleming is best described as a period of exponential personal growth, facilitated by my teachers, the courses and especially my fellow classmates,” said Keary, who graduated in 2018. “There were so many opportunities presented while at Fleming and I really made it my goal to try as many new things as I could—the old adage you get out of life what you put into it comes to mind.”

One of those opportunities was the program placement, and Keary knew just the place he wanted to spend four months…

“Because I had visited B.C. the summer prior to my final semester – and the trip made such a positive impact on me – I knew I had to go back,” he said. “If you want to have meaningful experiences, you first need to be in touch with what is meaningful to you.”

Keary said he worked hard preparing for the move and planned out all the little details before heading to B.C.

“If you have family or friends that live outside of your hometown, or you have travelled in the past, use those connections. Use your networking skills to your advantage and don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone and everyone,” said Keary on what advice he would offer current students. “Investing in travel is worthwhile and enriches your life in many ways!”

runwhistlerKeary spent his placement at Whistler Olympic Park and was later hired as Guest Service Representative, where he fit guests with cross-country and snowshoeing gear, provided equipment orientation and trail recommendations, and covered the entry booth to the Park.

“The coolest experience on the job was learning how to cross-country ski and then actually racing in a 15km event called the ‘Payak Loppet.’ I grew up snowboarding, but never skiing, and I found it thrilling learning a new sport,” he said. “Generally speaking, being way out in the wilderness, surrounded by mountains, is both awe-inspiring and humbling. It is a different lifestyle out here, people really love where they live. There is a level of enthusiasm that is undeniable.”

Keary credits Fleming College with developing his time management skills, accountability and professionalism, which are all skills he used on the job.

“Having deadlines for course work, having a weekly structure, being accountable to your classmates… these are practical skills to hone and are crucial for success in the working world,” he said.

After the summer work season ended, Keary headed to Vancouver to study nutrition at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. He plans to utilize his Fleming education and nutrition knowledge in a career as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with a specialization in sports nutrition.

His advice to all students is to make self-care the number one priority. “Eat well, exercise and find creative outlets,” he said. “Take time to feel good about your daily accomplishments.”

Paramedic students will brave the cold for Polar Bear Plunge

Christian Bell, Kaitlin Glab, Demi Asselin, and Brady Wills.
Christian Bell, Kaitlin Glab, Demi Asselin, and Brady Wills.

Snow, ice and chilly weather may deter you from taking a dip in the Trent River this winter, but for a group of Paramedic students, it is an invitation to challenge themselves.

Demi Asselin, Brady Wills, Christian Bell and Kaitlin Glab are braving the cold this Saturday at Campbellford Lions Club Park for a good cause. They will be testing the waters at the 27th Annual Polar Bear Plunge, a fundraiser for Campbellford Memorial Hospital organized by the Auxiliary to the Campbellford Memorial Hospital. Money raised will go towards purchasing equipment.

“I’m scared but excited!” said Demi. “I’ve jumped out of a hot tub and into the snow before, but never a lake.”

Kaitlin, who organized the team, encouraged her friend and said it will be fun.

“I used to go to school in B.C. and I did it in October with some friends,” explained Kaitlin. “We heard about a person named Wim Hoff, who calls himself The Iceman, and submerges himself in water—so we tested it out because it’s supposed to boost the immune system. We lasted 15 minutes.”

Brady said that while he has never taken a dip during the winter, he does have wonderful memories of jumping in the lake first thing in the morning at summer camp. Brady said that the water is very cold in the early morning, even in the summer, so he’s hoping that experience will give him a competitive edge.

An article featuring past Paramedic students inspired the students to do the Polar Bear Plunge.

“There’s an article on the bulletin board (in our classroom) of Paramedic students doing it, so we want to carry on the tradition,” said Brady. “And we want to do it. It’s for a good cause.”

Christian agrees. As a former pediatric cancer patient at Kingston General Hospital, the cause is an important motivator for him. Christian is an active fundraiser, mainly for pediatrics, and recently fundraised for Make-A-Wish. Christian knows the positive impact fundraising has on hospitals and is happy to challenge himself to help Campbellford Memorial Hospital.

For those who would like to support the group at the Polar Bear Plunge, please email Kaitlin at kglab17@gmail.com.

Glassblowing graduate Paul van den Bijgaart enjoys the yin and yang of his artistic process in China

Paul van den Bijgaart
Paul van den Bijgaart

It went straight to his core – that feeling of finding his calling – and it happened at a weekend glassblowing class in Red Deer, Alberta.

“As soon as I put the pipe in the furnace, I just knew: this is my passion,” said Paul van den Bijgaart, who was working as a cabinet maker and lighting repairman at the time (2007). “It’s a very rare feeling. There are very few times in my life where I’ve felt that passionately and absolute about something.”

A friend of Paul’s mother had encouraged him to sign up for the beginner glassblowing class at Red Deer College, believing it would benefit his work on lighting fixtures. Paul loved it and used the money he earned at his full-time job to continue practicing glassblowing at a studio in Edmonton.

When the studio closed two years later, Paul decided it was time to fully immerse himself in his craft. He moved to Haliburton, Ont., to take the Glassblowing certificate at the Haliburton School of Art + Design.

“Haliburton was really a changing ground of an intensive few months to see if I really wanted this. It really was a make or break,” said Paul, who describes the experience as life changing.

Every morning he walked across the frozen lake to the Haliburton Campus, where he poured his energy into glassblowing all day. He only left the campus when he was either exhausted or had plans with his friends.

“It’s a magical place to pick up a serious amount of skill in a short amount of time,” said Paul, who credits the school with developing his confidence. “The teachers would push you outside of your comfort zone. When I first got to Haliburton, I asked an instructor how to do something and they said to me, ‘Try, go do it– don’t be scared to fail!’ That continues to contribute to my artistic endeavors to this day.”

After graduating from Fleming College, Paul continued his studies at Sheridan College. During his first year in the Craft + Design program, he met Amy Yang, a talented artist from China with a sleek aesthetic and background in design. The couple became a designer/maker team and traveled together after graduating.

dragonThe original plan was to move to China to get married and then return to Canada, but that plan changed when Paul got the opportunity to teach a workshop in Shanghai.

The couple now works with institutions in China, including the China Academy of Art, and continually returns to Canada to teach workshops.

One difference between glassblowing in Canada compared to China is that hot glass has only just begun growing in popularity as an artistic material in China, said Paul.

“Historically, the Chinese have used glass to mimic other materials, like jade and stone. They typically perceive those naturally formed materials as more valuable,” he explained.

In addition to the perception of glass, the other challenge Paul faces is the language barrier.

“I always thought glassblowing was the most difficult skill I’d acquire in my life, but learning to read, speak and understand Chinese has definitely challenged that,” he said. “My New Year’s resolution was to lead workshops in Chinese and this year in September I was the main translator at an arts event.”

Living in China has helped Paul grow as a person and as an artist. “It’s interesting to rewire your brain. The way they experience and view a lot of everyday objects is very pictographic. For instance in English we say ‘tornado’ and we can picture what that means, but in Chinese it’s ‘long juan feng,’ which literally translates to ‘dragon rolling wind,’” said Paul. “It’s like learning to view the world in a different way.”

Paul returns to Canada to teach intensive classes, but continues to grow roots in China. He is currently creating his own glassblowing studio in Beijing and plans to open a studio in Edmonton one day.

paul_v_02-004“I enjoy everyday objects people can use; a glass of wine at the end of the day, a handmade carafe at the side of your bed,” he said. “It’s important for people to engage with the maker community and for them to understand the work that goes into handmade objects.”

As Paul grows his business, he continues to enjoy the glassblowing process.

“It makes me feel almost every emotion I can imagine: it’s frustrating, calming and relaxing, I can drift away sometimes because it’s repetitive, other times it’s very intense, assessing multiple components simultaneously, it’s a mixture and a  balance,” he said. “Not to bring it back to Chinese philosophy, but there’s a yin and yang to it; you have to get frustrated to know to calm down. I’ve learned philosophy through the material, and found that it can take you to magical places if you’re willing to forget what you know.”

Tourism – Global Travel graduate cannot wait to hit the road as a Fleming Grad Recruiter

vivienne-maxwellIt is obvious what Tourism – Global Travel graduate Vivienne Maxwell is looking forward to most as a Fleming College Grad Recruiter: getting to travel across Ontario!

“I love to travel and I am looking forward to seeing the scenery in my own province for my next adventure,” said Vivienne, who will be speaking with prospective students across Ontario about Fleming College. “I’m most looking forward to experiencing new places in Ontario that I’ve never been before.”

In addition to the travel opportunity, Vivienne decided to work as a Grad Recruiter to develop her skills while staying close to the Fleming community.

“Keeping my ties with Fleming was important to me and perhaps I wasn’t quite ready to go… This position was a great way to stay connected but also move forward into a new position,” said Vivienne, who graduated from Fleming this year. “Secondly, I knew this position would help me build on professional skills, such as time management, marketing and organization.”

Vivienne also plans to utilize her networking skills, which she developed in the Tourism – Global Travel program at Fleming.

“Networking myself was one of the biggest lessons that I took away from college,” said Vivienne. “Due to the field placement portion of my program, I was able to build strong connections within the college and within the community that eventually led me to employment opportunities.”

Vivienne loves the tight-knight, small community vibe at Fleming, adding that, “I always knew my professors and peers personally. We built great relationships that I will continue to nurture into the future.”

Outside of her program, Vivienne also made friendships in the Indigenous Student Lounge.

“Hands-down, my favourite spot on campus is the Indigenous Lounge. Not only did I make lifelong friendships in this safe space, I learned so much about Indigenous cultures and found a place that truly felt like home on campus,” she said. “Anyone is welcome in the Lounge; it is a place to bridge the differences we share and sincerely respect one another. Sometimes school can be stressful and this environment allowed me to escape the hustle and bustle of the halls and feel at peace.”

Vivienne is looking forward to spreading the word about Fleming College as a Grad Recruiter. Her key points for endorsing Fleming include great specializations, strong reputation in many industries, and faculty who are professionals with strong networks.

“I’m constantly hearing how employers are looking for Fleming graduates,” said Vivienne. “This is why you should come to Fleming. If you’re willing to put in the work, you will be successful here.”

Alaura Jopling wants to inspire a new post-secondary beginning for high school students

alaura-joplingAlaura Jopling’s post-secondary journey did not start with Fleming College, which is why she decided to become a Grad Recruiter with Student Recruitment.

“I want to educate and inspire the young students who are starting to apply to post-secondary because, had I known then what I know now, my journey would have a completely different beginning,” said Alaura.

After graduating from high school, Alaura entered university, which she describes as very large and made her feel like a “number.” Although she did enjoy the social aspect, she struggled academically at university.

“When I got to Fleming, it was the polar opposite,” said Alaura, who took the Business Administration – Marketing program. “My favourite thing about Fleming is that class sizes are around thirty students; faculty know you by name and even get to know you as not only a student, but as a future business person. They want you to succeed– not only in your future career, but in life.”

At Fleming, Alaura said she learned about her field of study, gained hands-on experience through assignments and her Applied Project with the Innovation Cluster, and grew as a person while exploring her strengths and weaknesses.

She said her favourite spot on campus is the library, which she started using after realizing most of her classmates were studying there.

“I knew that if I really wanted to succeed, I needed to be a part of this group,” she said. “I went there almost every day– before classes, after classes and even on my days off. The atmosphere was perfect. We would study together, quiz one-another and even teach one another.”

She feels Fleming really does live up to the promise of “Learn, Belong, Become,” and thanks everyone in the Fleming community who helped her succeed.

“After having that first negative post-secondary experience, I wasn’t sure that I was going to succeed. Fleming taught me how to be confident again; how to use my own uniqueness and skills in the field, and how it would set me apart from others. I learned the best way to be me and that truly is the best outcome I could have hoped for,” she said. “The best thing I learned while attending Fleming was that I am capable, I am intelligent, and I can – and am going to – succeed.”

Forestry Technician graduate Eric Butson will represent Frost Campus as a Grad Recruiter

ericForestry Technician graduate Eric Butson is looking forward to representing Frost Campus when he travels across Ontario this fall. Eric is a Grad Recruiter for Student Recruitment and will be sharing information about Fleming College with prospective students.

“What I’m looking forward to most as a Grad Recruiter is the opportunity to help secondary school students realize their potential and share with them the opportunities to grasp that potential at Fleming,” said Eric, who graduated from the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences this year.

Eric said he learned to embrace his weaknesses and face his fears head-on while at Fleming, which he said is the best way to grow personally and professionally.

To clear his mind, Eric said he loves visiting the Loggersports practice site, which is his favourite spot on campus. “It is a place where I spent many nights working hard to perfect my events, clearing my head and escaping the grind of academics for a little while,” he explained.

In addition to Loggersports and his studies in the Forestry Technician program, Eric also worked as a Student Ambassador for Student Recruitment, giving campus tours to prospective students, welcoming guests at Fleming’s Open House, and more.

“Getting to show individuals that are interested in your college what makes it so special to you hardly seemed like work,” he said. “As a Grad Recruiter, I get to hold a similar position and connect with so many more prospective students on a different platform.”

So what makes Fleming so special for Eric? The campus culture.

“My faculty and peers truly wanted everyone to succeed and it was a refreshing experience,” he said. “When speaking with prospective students, the reason I believe they should come to Fleming is because it is a unique college that blends excellence in academics with a student life experience for all individuals.”

Conservation graduate Maia Balint takes Fleming College skills to Oxford

maia-at-oxford-blogThe skills Maia Balint gained at Fleming College are not only useful in Canada, they are useful around the world!

The Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program provides opportunities for students to take their studies to other countries, where they can gain internship experience in interesting locales. Maia completed her full-time Fleming internship at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Devon, UK, and made connections that led to her current employment at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.

“I learned about this opportunity due to the connections I made during my Fleming internship,” said Maia, who works as an Osney Power Station (OPS) Move Project Assistant. “The experiences that I gained while studying at Fleming were directly relevant to the job description and prepared me for the interview.”

In her contract role at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, Maia works with artefacts every day. “A lot of the artefacts are really amazing and beautiful,” said the Class of 2018 graduate. “My favourites include pocket microscopes and homeopathic medicine kits full of tiny jars substances— many of which are poisons!”

Maia is responsible for assessing and packing artifacts, and said Fleming prepared her well for the role, including how to complete documentation for object assessment and general handling techniques. Maia also references the information she gained from the two-day packing workshop led by Paul Marcon from the Canadian Conservation Institute.

maiabalintatworkMaia wanted to move to Oxford because her partner is doing his PhD there. She describes Oxford as very pretty and adds that being affiliated with the university makes a big difference because the most beautiful parts are only accessible to university staff and students.

But this isn’t Maia’s first time living in the UK. After graduating from the University of Toronto, where she studied history, Maia took bookbinding courses in the UK and did an internship at the Design Museum in London. Her interest in bookbinding, which also includes courses at the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild and an internship at the Robertson Davies Library in Toronto, is what led her to pursue a career in conservation.

“Most practicing bookbinders also do conservation work,” Maia explained. “I wanted to learn more about the various materials that are used in bookbinding and I was attracted to Fleming’s emphasis on hands-on skills.”

The Fleming College graduate said she would recommend her program to others. “I think the Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program provides a great introduction into the conservation of a wide range of materials,” she said. “It gives students a wide variety of practical experience, which reflects the type of work that goes on in museums.”

Police Foundations grad Montana Fazi takes Fleming education pathway to UOIT

35251086_2064016697170090_7086100957796237312_nWhen Montana Fazi crossed the convocation stage to receive her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), she felt grateful for Fleming College Police Foundations faculty for helping her reach this milestone.
“I am truly beyond thankful for all of the Police Foundations faculty,” said Montana. “They played a huge role in my education decisions and successes. It was because of their encouragement and guidance that I continued learning to pursue my education and career goals. When I struggled through university, I pushed through those struggles because I wanted to make them proud and succeed.”

Montana graduated from Fleming’s Police Foundations program in 2015, describing her two years at Sutherland Campus as her best years yet.

“Fleming College provided a lot of fun ways to get involved in the campus community. I took advantage of this and made the best of my college experience,” said Montana, who was involved in the Street Team, First Aid Support Team, International Student Club, and International Peer Mentoring. “These experiences allowed me to grow as an individual, meet new people, and gain transferable skills.”

Montana also credits the Police Foundations program with helping her gain transferable knowledge and skills, which she used for a Fleming education pathway to UOIT the following May (2016).

“There are a few differences between college and university that I have noticed,” said Montana, who graduated from UOIT with her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Justice this year.

She explained that Fleming has group work and scenario learning exercises to apply course material, and has small class sizes.

“I feel that Fleming did prepare me for university,” said Montana. “I was able to identify theories and concepts that I learned in college courses that came up again in university courses. Being prepared and already having knowledge of the material made transitioning into university courses smoother.”

Montana enjoyed her time at UOIT and credits the Student Learning Centre staff and professors with making access to disability services a great experience. She said they accommodated her needs, pushed her to succeed, and were there for her.

She recommends Fleming’s education pathways to other students who want to expand their skills and get both the college and university experience.

“I was able to gain the hands-on experience through college, while also gaining experience in independent learning through university. Both of which are valuable experiences that I can bring with me into my field of work,” she said.

From taking a multi-millionaire out to dinner to creating a business, Fleming College is a wild ride for Dylan Trepanier

dylan-t-blogWhen Dylan Trepanier reflects on his most memorable experience at Fleming College, he recalls the time he took a multi-millionaire to dinner in his 2006 Chevrolet Equinox.

He had been tasked with driving Nicole Verkindt – a young, successful entrepreneur who founded OMX (Offset Market Exchange) and serves as a Dragon on CBC’s “Next Gen Den” – from the Innovation Cluster to St. Veronus restaurant. Nicole was in Peterborough to speak at a FastStart Fleming event and Dylan had won the opportunity to have dinner with her afterward.

“I’ll never forget her racing me to my car and getting in the passenger seat, and all I could think about was the bits of dried paint on the seat and the fact I was about to drive around a Dragon,” said Dylan, who graduated from the Business Administration – Marketing program this year.

“But the moment I remember the most that night is when all the stress melted away, when she asked to listen to my story.”

He shared his business idea with Nicole, a driven and passionate “rock star” business person named Canada’s 2017 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by StartUp Canada. Nicole enthusiastically asked Dylan questions and gave valuable feedback.

“I’ll never forget the feeling when she told me that she believed in me and my idea. It felt incredible to be acknowledged by someone who understands what it’s like to put everything on the line to follow their dreams,” he said.

Dylan’s business idea is Alexander Optical, a team of on-demand health care service professionals that organize pop-up eye exam clinics. Their teams visit places like schools, long-term care residences, and companies to offer eye health care services, including glasses.

Dylan (right) with the Alexander Optical team
Dylan (right) with the Alexander Optical team

He developed this idea in 2013 and came to Fleming College in September 2015 because of it, working with nearly every professor to tailor assignments, projects and case studies to help understand his business plan. In his last semester, Dylan officially launched Alexander Optical as his Applied Project for the Business Administration – Marketing program and presented it at the Innovation Showcase event, where he earned the Most Innovative Business Award and the Best Presenter Award.

Dylan was also awarded the GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Award for Outstanding Business Achievements, The Duane Parnham Business Development Award, the Sustainable Peterborough Award, the Student Administrative Council’s President’s Award, and the Valedictorian Award.

“The Fleming College community is generous and supportive. My success here never would have been possible without the relationships built over the last three years. It’s this community that’s helped me to become confident in myself and my career choice,” said Dylan. “I loved my time here in this program, and having the co-curricular hands-on opportunities available to practice what I was learning in class made my time way more valuable.”

Through the Business Administration – Marketing program, Dylan developed communication skills, problem solving, accountability, and more.

“I 11/10 would recommend this diploma to a friend, have recommended it to friends, and I will continue to advocate on behalf of the program because I graduated feeling ready for the industry,” said Dylan. “I know my graduating class is going to do incredible things with the knowledge we’ve learned here.”

Dylan served as Valedictorian at the School of Business convocation ceremony this month and hopes his fellow graduates remember to seize the moment, prioritize their mental and physical health, get out of their comfort zone, learn where to focus their efforts, and remember they have the power to control how others treat them.

“And most importantly, put your heart into it,” he added.

Dylan thanks Student Life Coordinator Leona Folz, and faculty members Raymond Yip Choy and Wendy Morgan for being role models, and the Class of 2018 for helping make amazing memories.

“This class is going down in the history books, you watch,” he said.

Now that Dylan has graduated from Fleming College, he is working on Alexander Optical full-time. Dylan was selected as one of seven youth entrepreneurs for the Innovation Cluster Slingshot Program, which provides him with workspace and access to workshops, resources, specialists and tools throughout the summer culminating in a pitch competition to become a full-time client of the Cluster and win $1000.

“With the skills I’ve learned in class, I’ve been able to create a lean and profitable business model that satisfies the three pillars of sustainability, creates incredible impact, and is continuing to gain momentum with the support of the Innovation Cluster,” said Dylan.