When Paralegal program coordinator Amy Maycock realized field placements were not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she started brainstorming creative solutions to ensure students could complete the 120-hour block placement needed to graduate and write the licensing exam.
Amy called the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) to discuss the situation and, during this conversation, the idea of a virtual law firm came up. She then spoke with Teaching & Learning Specialist Mary Overholt for guidance on which platform to use.
To give students variety, Amy created a multi-disciplinary law firm offering Landlord and Tenant Law, Small Claims Court, Provincial Offences and, if needed, Accident Benefits. To help develop scenarios and tasks for students to complete during placement, Amy connected with graduates for ideas.
Once Amy had a detailed plan, she submitted a lengthy proposal to the LSO for approval; this is needed for any major change, as Fleming is an accredited college. Once Amy received approval, she felt incredibly relieved and excited to deliver.
‚ÄúI reached out to faculty and graduates and asked if they would volunteer to be placement principals and to act as clients,‚ÄĚ said Amy. ‚ÄúThe response was overwhelming; within hours, I had seven volunteers.‚ÄĚ
Amy posted the placement position on D2L, held placement interviews online, and then the Fleming Virtual Law Firm was open!
For their placement, students used Microsoft Teams and Webex for communication and rotated through areas of law, spending one week in each discipline. Students completed tasks during their placement, including client interviews, drafting documents, researching case law, preparing legal memos and case briefs, and writing correspondence to both principals and clients.
‚ÄúI think it was an overall success,‚ÄĚ said Amy. ‚ÄúI believe it simulated as much of a real office as is virtually possible. It allowed students to apply what they had learned in school in a virtual setting. By successfully completing the virtual field placement, students can now write their Law Society licensing exam.‚ÄĚ
Amy would like to thank her colleagues for their assistance and support: Victoria Orlandi, Janet Heeringa, Alushe Stafa, Kendra Kelly, Lisa McFadden, Vanessa Craig, Barbara Moyle, Diana Collis and Justin Stevens.
‚ÄúI must give a special thank you to the students who completed the virtual field placement,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI could not have worked with a better group of students, and I thank them for entrusting me to get them to the finish line.‚ÄĚ
RentSmart features six modules covering topics such as: applying for housing, rights, responsibilities and expectations, managing finances and communicating effectively. The program aims to teach students how to be great tenants and is facilitated by Fleming Off-Campus Housing Coordinator Karen Hennessey with CICE faculty, and guest speakers from the community and local agencies. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RentSmart was adapted to online learning modules to provide students with the opportunity to complete the certificate online.
CICE faculty member Julie Wilson helped provide student support with this change in program delivery and feels fortunate this certificate could be offered online. ‚ÄúRentSmart is a perfect addition to the CICE program (Essential Skills course) for our second-year students,‚ÄĚ said Julie. ‚ÄúStudents find the program informative, and is an opportunity to learn about their rights and responsibilities as tenants. The program builds confidence, knowledge and skills so people can make informed choices around rental housing.‚ÄĚ
CICE student Dalton K. agrees. ‚ÄúI really enjoyed the RentSmart program and how it taught me about tenant rights and responsibilities, as well as the rights and responsibilities of a landlord,” said Dalton. “I like how this program talked about advocating for myself, as my teacher Julie is always teaching us to advocate at school and at work.‚ÄĚ
About the CICE program: The Community Integration through Cooperative Education (CICE) program is a two-year program designed to provide individuals with exceptionalities and other significant learning challenges opportunity to experience college life and enhance their academic and vocational skills with modified programming and support from Integration Facilitators. Learn more here.
Elliot Smith never imagined he would complete his final semester of the Community Integration Through Cooperative Education (CICE) program at home. He also never imagined Breakfast Television Toronto would broadcast a virtual convocation ceremony for him and his mom.
On April 16, Breakfast Television Toronto featured
Elliot on their ‚ÄúBT Bright Spot‚ÄĚ segment, where Elliot and his mom Debbie
discussed his Fleming College education. Elliot was also treated to a surprise
virtual convocation ceremony on the morning show.
‚ÄúIt was amazing! It was a great speech,‚ÄĚ said Elliot, who received 500 tweets, 300 emails, and texts and phone calls congratulating him.
Elliot‚Äôs mother Debbie is so proud of Elliot‚Äôs accomplishments, including his education. ‚ÄúElliot proved a lot of people wrong,‚ÄĚ said Debbie. ‚ÄúThere was a teacher who said he wouldn‚Äôt graduate from high school.‚ÄĚ
Elliot has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Debbie credits
the Autism Resource Team at Ajax High School for creating a success plan and
providing supports. She is also grateful for the amazing gym teachers at Ajax
High School for ensuring Elliot was included and able to take gym class every
year, as she said many students on the spectrum are exempt from gym.
‚ÄúThe gym teachers encouraged me and they understand me,‚ÄĚ
said Elliot, who loves sports and plays on the Durham Region Challenger
Baseball League, Archery 2 You, Pickering Football Club All Abilities, and has
a black belt in material arts. Elliot also serves as the first Youth Amplifier
for the Jays Care Foundation, where he attends weekly meetings to provide
insight and suggestions for their Challenger Baseball programming.
It is this strong passion for athletics that led Elliot to
the CICE program at Fleming College, hoping to gain independence, confidence,
and pursue his dreams of journalism and radio broadcasting in sports and
‚ÄúI wanted to take the CICE program to learn how to live on
my own independently and learn life skills,‚ÄĚ said Elliot, who moved to
Peterborough from Durham Region to live in Fleming Residence. He shared a
Residence suite with another CICE student, as well as students from other
‚ÄúIt was a great experience to live independent and do my own
chores. I like to keep everything tidy and clean,‚ÄĚ said Elliot, who helped his
suite win the Cleanest Suite Award in second semester.
Debbie said this was Elliot‚Äôs first experience away from
home. ‚ÄúHe had never been on his own or away from us. I was going to move to
Peterborough so that he could go to college, but [CICE program coordinator] Patty
Thompson told me to try this and said she will help,‚ÄĚ said Debbie.
‚ÄúElliot lived on his own for two years and that exceeds our
expectations. This is huge for him and the skills he gained from that ‚Äď making
meals, getting to class by himself on time, keeping to a schedule ‚Äď is huge.
The CICE team helped with that, they made visual schedules, helped him learn to
take the bus in Peterborough, taught practical life skills,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe
found at Fleming that inclusivity is a huge priority.‚ÄĚ
Elliot said he enjoyed living in Residence, kept active at the
Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre, and made new friends at Fleming. Some
of his highlights include meeting boxer Cody Crowley in the Steele Centre, having
lunch with race car driver Austin Riley on campus, and going to FanExpo 2019
with friends. He also enjoyed doing his CICE program placement at the
Peterborough Petes, where he took scout identification, greeted guests and collected
Through the CICE program, Elliot learned about how to be a good leader and how to live independently.
‚ÄúI feel incredibly confident after taking the CICE program,‚ÄĚ
said Elliot. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs made a
huge difference and I would recommend it to others because it will teach you to be independent
and teach you life skills.‚ÄĚ
Now that Elliot has finished his Fleming studies, he plans to continue writing as Sports and Entertainment Correspondent for Outfox Magazine, is co-writing a book with Debbie called Living My Best Life with ASD; When the Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary, and will start an employment program in September at Kerry‚Äôs Place Autism Services.
Shelby Baldino never imagined herself
graduating from high school, serving as Valedictorian for her class or
attending college, but thanks to School Within a College, Shelby achieved more
than she thought possible for herself.
‚ÄúI never in a million years thought I‚Äôd
graduate high school, let alone be Valedictorian. It was a great experience,‚ÄĚ
said Shelby. ‚ÄúWhen I got the message, I cried. In high school, I was put down a
lot by my teachers and peers because they didn‚Äôt think I was making an effort,
but I had depression and that‚Äôs what was stopping me.‚ÄĚ
In high school, Shelby had poor
attendance, struggled with authority figures, and was battling depression. Her
guidance counsellor introduced her to the School Within a College program, a
partnership between the school board and Fleming College.
School Within a College offers a
college learning environment for senior secondary students to complete their
Ontario Secondary School Diploma credits. The program includes a dual credit
course, where students are able to earn one college credit.
‚ÄúI loved it! It‚Äôs more of a college
setting and it‚Äôs up to you to do the work. For me, it was a better environment
and I felt safer, and the people who work here are more approachable and try to
help,‚ÄĚ Shelby explains.
‚ÄúMy attendance got a lot better‚ÄĒ I used
to not go to school at all. After being in this program, I saw how much I could
get done in a day and that made me feel good,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI went from 50s and
60s in high school to 70s and 80s here. That made me feel good and made me want
to come. It influenced me to try harder.‚ÄĚ
Through the School Within a College
program, Shelby said she improved her attendance, time management skills,
organizational skills, work ethic and more. She also felt supported with her
mental health and is especially grateful for being introduced to the
Peterborough Sport & Wellness Centre.
‚ÄúWhen my teacher Amy brought me to the
Wellness Centre and I saw how everyone just does their own thing, I realized
this isn‚Äôt bad,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúNow I find exercise is relaxing and it makes me
feel better if I‚Äôm stressed.‚ÄĚ
After completing her Ontario Secondary School Diploma, Shelby decided to continue her studies at Fleming College. She is currently in her first semester of the Law Clerk program with plans to earn a dual diploma in Law Clerk and Paralegal.
‚ÄúI have nine siblings and I‚Äôm the first
one in my family who will graduate from college. My mom said, ‚Äėyou‚Äôre not
allowed to drop out!‚Äô It‚Äôs exciting, but I‚Äôm also nervous because I‚Äôm setting
the bar for everyone after me,‚ÄĚ Shelby explains. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs showing them that you
can struggle and make it. Even if you have problems, you can do it.‚ÄĚ
Shelby‚Äôs long-term career plans are to
finish the Law Clerk and Paralegal programs at Fleming College, use an
education pathway to earn a degree at Ontario Tech University, go to Law
School, work as a lawyer for 10 years and then apply to become a judge.
‚ÄúBack in high school, I never would
think to push myself. But after graduating with good marks and being
Valedictorian, I might as well strive to be the best that I can be,‚ÄĚ said
The Fleming Fire Combat Team member is flying to Montgomery,
Alabama for the World Firefighter Combat Challenge. From October 21 ‚Äď 26,
competitors will perform physically demanding tasks that simulate the demands
of firefighters in emergency situations. This includes climbing a tower,
hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses, and rescuing a dummy that weighs 175 lbs.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm looking for an experience I won‚Äôt easily forget,‚ÄĚ said
Bowman about the competition. ‚ÄúI’m hoping to qualify for the final day, and am excited to
experience the American course, talk to the different firefighters and
departments from around the world, and hope to see some familiar faces from the
Bowman has been training regularly since Nationals, with a focus
on leg strength and endurance to conquer the tower portion of the race faster,
and is prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and recovery.
He joined the Fleming Fire Combat Team in February, wanting to try
a new sport, compete, and network with firefighters from across Canada.
‚ÄúBeing on the team has been a
great experience, getting to know each member of the team and the coaching
staff,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThe season would not have been as incredible had it not been
for my teammates and the experiences we all were able to share.‚ÄĚ
He also enjoyed his experience in the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program, which is
taught at the Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy (EOETA) in Norwood,
Ont. The EOETA applied learning environment features a burn tower, roof props, door props, search and rescue maze, confined
space prop and new high intensity propane training props.
‚ÄúThe fire grounds and equipment we have access to is awesome and
the environment we have because of the facility makes it all that more real,‚ÄĚ
chose this program because he wanted a
rewarding career where he could make a difference.
‚ÄúI feel being able to serve my
community, help others, and have a positive impact on life and safety as a
firefighter is the most rewarding career I could ever have,‚ÄĚ Bowman explains.
‚ÄúBeing a real-life superhero for my children is also pretty amazing.‚ÄĚ
Bowman is currently serving as a firefighter in Cavan Monaghan
and hopes to convince more department members to get involved in the
Firefighter Combat Challenge one day.
Fleming Fire Combat Team member Declan
Fitzpatrick is heading to Montgomery, Alabama to compete in the World
Firefighter Combat Challenge.
This intense competition demonstrates
the firefighting profession‚Äôs rigors to the world. From October 21 to 26,
competitors will perform physically demanding tasks that simulate the demands
of firefighters in emergency situations. This includes climbing a tower, hoisting,
chopping, dragging hoses, and rescuing a dummy that weighs 175 lbs, while
wearing firefighting gear.
‚ÄúI joined the team because I wanted the challenge and the experience of FireFit. The career networking was a bonus,‚ÄĚ said Declan, who took Fleming‚Äôs Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program and joined the Fleming Fire Combat Team in February, 2019. ‚ÄúIt has been a lot of fun training and competing this year; we had an incredible group of people on the team this year, competitors and coaches.‚ÄĚ
Declan qualified for the World Firefighter Combat Challenge last month at the FireFit Worlds & Canadian National Championships in Oshawa. He achieved an incredible 1:24 in his first year competing in FireFit, making him the fastest new competitor in Canada and earning him the 2019 FireFit National Rookie of the Year award.
‚ÄúBeing Rookie of the Year is very
rewarding and has made all the time and commitment put in that much more worth
it,‚ÄĚ said Declan, who has maintained his routine of home workouts and weekend
training with the Fleming Fire Combat Team. ‚ÄúIn Alabama, I am hoping to achieve
a time of less than 1:40, which is the cut-off to get into the ‚ÄėLion‚Äôs Den‚Äô, a
prestigious ‚Äėclub‚Äô that is very difficult to become a part of. Even if that
doesn‚Äôt happen, I will still be thrilled to have taken part in the FireFit
Declan enrolled in Fleming‚Äôs
Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program because being a
firefighter has always been his dream job.
‚ÄúBeing a firefighter has always
appealed to me because it‚Äôs a challenging and very rewarding career that will
allow me to do a lot of good for my community,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI have enjoyed my
time at Fleming, both in the course and on the FireFit team. We had a great
group of people in the course, as well as the instructors.‚ÄĚ
College‚Äôs commitment to helping every student succeed is what makes it so
special to Rebekah Rego.
here is dedicated to your success,‚ÄĚ explains Rebekah. ‚ÄúFaculty and staff strive
to help and want to see you succeed!‚ÄĚ
Anishinaabek student, success to Rebekah means maintaining her strong cultural
and spiritual ties, which is why she connected with Indigenous Student
Indigenous Student Services at Fleming aims to help students transition into college by providing support, information and resources, cultural programming, and by acting as a link to the college and wider community. It quickly became Rebekah‚Äôs favourite place on campus.
Student Services felt like my home away from home,‚ÄĚ shared Rebekah. ‚ÄúIndigenous
Student Services provided me support and a safe place to strive as an
Anishinaabek student. Their services include Elder visits and a medicine room.‚ÄĚ
that the staff are supportive and provide cultural programming that fits
everyone‚Äôs schedule to ensure events and programming are easily accessible.
Rebekah graduated this June from the Social Service Worker program with the Indigenous Perspectives Designation. She thoroughly enjoyed her Fleming experience, including the Sutherland Campus, Fleming staff, academics and the extracurricular activities she was involved in.
like I was a part of the Fleming community,‚ÄĚ said Rebekah. ‚ÄúI had such amazing
and meaningful experiences during my time at Fleming.‚ÄĚ
College, Rebekah said she was able to learn valuable skills while developing
herself as a professional.
helped me prepare for the working world while I also learned how to give a
voice to those who cannot, be involved in community events, organize a student
club and have the responsibility of being on committees,‚ÄĚ she said.
feels so strongly about Fleming College that she is joining the Student
Recruitment team this fall as a Fleming Grad Recruiter. Rebekah will be
travelling across Ontario to share information about Fleming with prospective
really looking forward to being able to share my enthusiasm for learning and my
passion for Fleming so that other potential students can see the valuable
opportunity Fleming presents for their future careers,‚ÄĚ said Rebekah. ‚ÄúI cannot
wait to meet students across the province and share my experiences and
knowledge with them.‚ÄĚ
Child and Youth Care student Denise Borg loves to learn, which is why she signed up to attend the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care (OACYC) provincial conference.
‚ÄúI felt like this would be a huge learning opportunity,‚ÄĚ said
the third-semester student. ‚ÄúI‚Äôd be able to introduce myself to people in the
field and hear their stories, and learn a lot more about what career I‚Äôve put
Denise is one of 230 participants who attended the sold-out
conference this June, which welcomed local, provincial, national and
international speakers to Peterborough. Entitled ‚ÄúWeaving Perspectives: Challenging Ourselves and Others Through
Storytelling and Narratives,‚ÄĚ the three-day conference
featured keynote speakers, panel presentations and interactive workshops that
explored ways to enhance relational care practice, methods and models, and
encouraged attendees to continue working towards excellence.
workshop moved me that I began to think of ways that me, as a student, could
begin to make a change,‚ÄĚ said Denise on the Working
with young people experiencing death, loss or bereavement workshop. In that
workshop, the group discussed that while there is a program for helping youth
deal with the grief of losing a loved one, there is no program in place for new
foster children dealing with the grief of losing the life they had been living
before being placed in foster care. ‚ÄúThe next workshop I attended was about
influencing change in your organization [Influencing
organized culture], and those two workshops together had the wheels turning
in my head.‚ÄĚ
explains that when children are taken to a foster home, there is a ‚Äútiptoe
period‚ÄĚ where they try to behave, be good, and always do everything right so
they can stay and not be moved. It is a huge life change, with new rules, a new
home, and new people.
want to help foster kids deal with that form of grief,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúHaving
someone to be there to work with that young person, to ask them if there‚Äôs
anything you can do to make them more comfortable in this situation or happier,
or any extracurriculars they want to do, or if they‚Äôre missing something from
their culture that they want‚Ä¶ just having someone there to support you with
this, that is huge.‚ÄĚ
the ages of 11 to 16, Denise lived in foster care in her home province of Nova
Scotia, bouncing from foster home to foster home before running away to move
back with her mom.
was no one I could trust or talk to about being in care,‚ÄĚ said Denise. ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre
taken away from your family and put in a stranger‚Äôs house. You don‚Äôt feel safe
surrounded by strangers.‚ÄĚ
Denise read the description of Fleming‚Äôs CYC program, she felt inspired. ‚ÄúI
thought, this is the person I needed in care. I wanted that, and I want to be that person,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI lived with addictions for four
years of my life. When I saw I could work with young people who live with
addictions, I thought ‚ÄėIf I could work with foster kids who live with
addictions or out of care with addictions that would be essential.‚Äô If I had
someone that I could have gone to and discussed my issues with, I don‚Äôt think I
would‚Äôve fallen down the path that I did.‚ÄĚ
Denise said she reflected a lot about her past at the OACYC
provincial conference and her experiences in foster care. One powerful moment
Denise experienced during the conference was listening to Ziigwanbinesii
Charles sing at the sunrise ceremony, opening ceremony and closing ceremony.
‚ÄúMy heart filled with so much love that I cried. It was so
beautiful to hear her sing,‚ÄĚ said Denise. ‚ÄúWhen I was in Nova Scotia, I was in
a Mi’kmaq studies course and Ziig sang one of the songs my teacher sang to me
when I was in school. It touched a part of my soul.‚ÄĚ
She said the conference experience has also been beneficial
in discovering more ways she can help others.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think that I would have made the connections I did
or that I would‚Äôve thought about the grief that foster kids go through when
they‚Äôre apprehended– and that there‚Äôs nothing in place for that,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been beneficial,
and I‚Äôll take everything I learned and put towards my practise and next two
years of school.‚ÄĚ
Denise said she is enjoying her time in the CYC program at
Fleming College and attributes it for her personal growth over the past year.
She said the program‚Äôs inclusion of self reflection has helped her to move
had a lot of heart-to-heart moments with some of my professors and that makes the
program that much more enticing,‚ÄĚ said Denise. ‚ÄúYou can tell Heather, Aurora,
Cherylanne and Patricia really care, they are willing to meet you where you‚Äôre
at– all of the teachers, really. My legislation teacher is the woman I inspire
to be; Lisa Fenn inspires, has so much passion, she is my role model.‚ÄĚ
Denise is excited to continue learning and
developing skills for her career path. She said the OACYC conference confirmed
that this is the right fit for her.
‚ÄúHearing other people‚Äôs outlooks and
experiences put me in a spot where I need to do this. This is who I am meant to
be,‚ÄĚ she explained. ‚ÄúI feel it in my heart that I‚Äôm in the right place.‚ÄĚ
Andrew Chartren did not have an idyllic
He remembers being placed in the foster
care system, spending time with his father under supervised visits, feeling
incredibly angry and acting out in school, and being grateful he and his
brother were able to stay together.
‚ÄúOne time, my dad lost it. He yelled at the
worker, ‚ÄėI don‚Äôt need you here, babysitting me with my kids!‚Äô‚ÄĚ said Andrew,
recalling an interaction between his dad ‚Äď who had supervised visits for a
period of time (and later unsupervised) – and a Child and Youth Care Worker.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an invasion of privacy in a sense.‚ÄĚ
Because of Andrew‚Äôs personal journey, he
chose to become a Child and Youth Care Practitioner to support other families
through this experience.
‚ÄúI go up to the parent and I let them know ‚ÄėI‚Äôm
here to support you. I‚Äôm not here to look over your shoulder, I am just here to
keep you safe.‚Äô I talk to them, I crack jokes, I make them comfortable,‚ÄĚ said
Andrew. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm more involved as a Child and Youth Care Worker than most of the
service providers I had when I was in care. There is no awkward silence and I
make it very relational, because the parents might think I‚Äôm judging them and I
Andrew, who was born premature with
Cerebral palsy and spent months in care at Mount Sinai Hospital, was placed
into foster care when he was eight years old. Andrew and his brother were able
to stay together through foster care, which Andrew explains is uncommon and
something he feels incredibly grateful for.
Although Andrew was obedient to his foster
care family and behaved well at home in Warsaw, he felt a sizzling anger
inside. ‚ÄúAt home, I was good and listened, but at school I was bad. I had anger
problems,‚ÄĚ he explained. ‚ÄúI used to get made fun of, so I‚Äôd retaliate in anger;
and sometimes I would just smack people around because I wanted to. People
would ask my brother why I was so angry.‚ÄĚ
As a speaker in the Children’s Aid
Societies‚Äô PRIDE program, Andrew says he tells new foster parents to expect
their limits to be tested. He encourages foster parents to sit down with the
child and reassure them, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm here for you. I know things are hard.‚ÄĚ
Andrew does this because he strongly
believes that a great support system can make a huge impact.
‚ÄúYour support team will determine your
progress,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIf you have a great support team who want the best for
you, you will do better.‚ÄĚ
When Andrew left foster care at 18 years
old, he went through a rebellious stage, but his support team got him through
it. He credits his youth group at church for never giving up on him, and always
speaking highly of him and saying kind words.
‚ÄúThose were words of healing to me,‚ÄĚ he
shared. ‚ÄúBecause of that, I was able to bounce back. I was able to look at
myself and say, ‚ÄėAndrew, wake up man!‚Äô‚ÄĚ
He signed up for Academic Upgrading to earn the English and math credits needed for post-secondary school and completed them when he was 23 years old. With a goal to work in the foster care system one day, Andrew enrolled in Fleming‚Äôs Child and Youth Care (CYC) program because the curriculum covers this field.
‚ÄúI really like that the teachers came in
with their own experience in the field. That was really encouraging to
me,” he said. ‚ÄúThese aren‚Äôt teachers who just read and talk about it and
don‚Äôt actually have the work experience; these are teachers with real work
experience in it. Everything my teachers said was accurate and I know it
because I went through it.‚ÄĚ
One learning experience that reminded
Andrew of his past was preparing for supervised visits as a Child and Youth
Care Practitioner. ‚ÄúI had to go through that and this class made me see that
this program is real,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIt is emotional, spiritual, intellectual… it
is real to a person.‚ÄĚ
Andrew recommends the CYC program to
others, especially the Therapeutic Interventions courses that prepare students
to help young persons work through real life issues, facilitating opportunities
for change (‚Äúthose three courses were a highlight. I‚Äôd recommend CYC just for
Through the program, Andrew has developed
notetaking and communication skills, learned theories from the field, and
‚ÄúI came in at an advantage with a lot of
knowledge of the system already, but I feel like this program really added to
my tool belt and is super beneficial. They did a good job,‚ÄĚ he said.
Andrew graduated from Fleming College this June and is already employed full-time as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner working in the care system. His career goal is to work in family interventions to help reunite families, instead of placing children in care.
Andrew is still very close with his
brother, visits his mom regularly, and said that his father passed away six
years ago (but they were in contact before that). Andrew is happily married, a
certified minister who leads a youth group, and his goal in life is to free
others from their hurt.
‚ÄúThis career is important. We need CYCs in
the foster system because children and youth need help and support,‚ÄĚ said
Andrew. ‚ÄúI want more people in this field. It‚Äôs super rewarding; it‚Äôs about
caring for the lives of others and being selfless. It‚Äôs not about a pay cheque,
it‚Äôs about making a difference.‚ÄĚ
Rachel Cooper had a special support system throughout her studies at Fleming College, her six-year old son Austin. Austin was there at the Justice Programs convocation ceremony last week to cheer on his mom and watch her serve as Valedictorian.
‚ÄúHe had many opportunities to join us in classes at Fleming and always loved to inquire, raising his hand often,‚ÄĚ said Rachel, who graduated from the Customs Border Services (CBS) program. ‚ÄúI have no doubt that when he gets older and is choosing colleges, Fleming will be a huge contender.‚ÄĚ
Rachel is a two-time Fleming College graduate; in 2008, she graduated from the Preparatory Health Science program (since renamed Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees), and this June she graduated from the CBS program. Rachel said when she returned to Fleming, she had her sights set on being Valedictorian.
‚ÄúI had set many high goals for myself at Fleming, Valedictorian
was one of them. To actually be chosen, though, was indescribable,‚ÄĚ said Rachel.
‚ÄúBeing in a program I loved contributed to being successful, but
I couldn‚Äôt have worked so hard without the constant cheerleading from my
friends spread throughout the Justice programs‚ÄĒ we all wanted each other to
succeed,‚ÄĚ she explained. ‚ÄúOur friend went as far as to open her home to us to
do our work¬≠¬≠¬≠¬≠. We called it ‚ÄėHomework Camp‚Äô and spent countless hours of our
semesters there, from PF students to CBS to Paralegal‚Ä¶ everyone was welcome!‚ÄĚ
Rachel chose the CBS program because she heard amazing reviews
from her cousin, a CBS student who endorsed the courses and program coordinator
‚ÄúWe discussed the future possibilities this program would bring
and I felt like it was right for me,‚ÄĚ said Rachel. ‚ÄúAs a graduate from Fleming
in 2008, I knew Fleming was the college I wanted to attend. The faculty was
amazing then and proved to be amazing again through my most recent experience.‚ÄĚ
Rachel credits the faculty for their support and for making
class time enjoyable. She also has a huge appreciation for the Common First
Semester that students in Justice Programs take, which introduces them to a
variety of career options and other Justice programs, and develops their knowledge
and fundamental skills.
‚ÄúThe Common First Semester allowed us to get into the groove of
college life, academically and socially, before moving into our specialties,‚ÄĚ
said Rachel. ‚ÄúThe College itself provided endless possibilities to get involved
socially through extracurricular events, pop-ups, and volunteering. I enjoyed
being involved in the community atmosphere at Fleming.‚ÄĚ
Rachel shared that she learned some valuable lessons outside of
the classroom at Fleming, including her awareness of obstacles and experiences faced
by transgender people.
‚ÄúMy favourite memory was experiencing the joy that washed over my friend‚Äôs face when he, a transgender student, learned Fleming would have gender neutral washrooms,‚ÄĚ said Rachel. ‚ÄúI learned a lot about what it means to be transgender through hearing about difficult experiences and obstacles. That‚Äôs why Fleming‚Äôs rainbow crosswalk installation was another on the favourites list. Those involved will never forget the day we put paint to pavement. It gave a whole new emphasis on belonging at Fleming.‚ÄĚ
Rachel, who graduated from Fleming College last week, said she
felt well prepared to leave the Sutherland Campus and enter the work world
thanks to her five-week program field placement.
‚ÄúI was able to apply everything I learned while at my field
placement at PepsiCo. I was prepared for all of the Customs tasks delegated to
me. This gives me confidence going out into private industry,‚ÄĚ said Rachel. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm
excited to find a role in the trade side of Customs within Ontario. I also plan
to take the Certified Customs Specialist designation this year.‚ÄĚ