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Social Service Worker program is the ‘whole package’ for Valedictorian Darla Cuthbertson


darla-cuthbertsonDarla Cuthbertson wanted the whole package when she decided to attend post-secondary school as a mature student.

“I really wanted my college dollars to go as far as possible in the purchase of an education,” she said. “Through life experience, I have learned to see the whole package offering. The Social Service Worker program offers a well-rounded base of skills in which to use heading out into the community; everything from computer skills, human growth philosophy, to counselling and community development.”

In addition to learning theoretical approaches, Darla appreciates the application practice she gained through group work. “This was a great period of learning for myself, as I have often depended only on the efforts and works of myself,” Darla explained. “Sharing, creating and developing space with others played a huge role in developing my sense of self and community.”

Her most memorable experiences at Fleming were the kick-off, signing the Indigenous Education Protocol, and getting Anishinaabemowin accepted as a General Elective Language Course.

“My life has been enriched through my experience at Fleming, and friendships made here – both with my peers and my professors – will continue,” said Darla. “The faculty and staff are amazing and create a real family environment. Across campus and down each corridor I was met with a friendly and helpful welcome. The diversity of students is a gift in itself and brought a cultural experience unexpected in this little, off-the-beaten-path town of Ontario.”

Darla has been selected as Valedictorian for Community Development Programs at convocation, which she feels humbled by.

“There are so many students, ones I know personally, who are smarter and more talented than I,” said Darla. “After sitting with that feeling for a few days, I allowed myself to feel honoured and to accept the good feelings that come with such a title. I am proud to be a Fleming Knight and to accept this honour to represent such an important school of learning, alongside so many students dedicated to the helping professions.”

She added, “I hope my fellow graduates leave with pride in their achievements, knowledge of their belonging, and aware of the important responsibility they now owe to their communities.”