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From Dropping Out to Graduation and Occupational Health & Safety Career Success

By July 7, 2023July 17th, 2023No Comments
Occupational Health & Safety

In celebration of our convocation 2023, and the opportunity for us to finally be together and celebrate in person after three years, we asked our graduates to share their Anderson College experience.

Asking, “How has Anderson College changed your life?” prompted over a hundred submissions … this is one of those extraordinary student stories.

We hope this reflection moves you, as it has our Anderson family, and inspires you to ever embrace the career and life you imagine and, truly, deserve.
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I feel like this is the typical sad story about growing up, having divorced parents, parental abuse and struggling with confidence. In grade school, I had teachers who passed me, so they didn’t need to deal with my dyslexia. I was picked on and beaten up by students when I attended a high school in Burlington.

“I dropped out of school nine times, and every year I tried to return without success, feeling defeated.”

During my first year of grade nine, a shooter entered the building and shot three students; I was in the washroom and walked out right in the middle of it. I proceeded as if nothing had happened, but I was traumatized and did not know it. I dropped out of school nine times, and every year I tried to return without success, feeling defeated.

When I was 25, I started in the disaster restoration industry, helping people who dealt with loss. I worked harder than most because I was among the few women in the industry. Over time, I became a mould-certified specialist until I wanted to proceed further into my career, and an employer threw my ‘nonexistent diploma’ in my face. I knew getting a diploma would be impossible while working 24/7, so I had to make some tough choices.

“In 2019, at the age of 44, I went back to high school and got that diploma in 2020, without a graduation because of COVID-19 shutting the world down.”

In 2019, at the age of 44, I went back to high school and got that diploma in 2020, without a graduation because of COVID-19 shutting the world down. I was still confused about who I wanted to be, but I was convinced I wanted to continue and gain a college diploma. I worked in a production bakery with refugees and immigrants new to Canada. I knew most of them knew nothing about safety and chemical use and this bothered me.

“I worked in a production bakery with refugees and immigrants new to Canada. I knew most of them knew nothing about safety and chemical use and this bothered me. That is when I decided there was an occupational health and safety program needed.”

That is when I decided there was an occupational health and safety program needed. So, in 2022, I enrolled in this program at Anderson College and met our instructor, Hamy Muzaffar. I was impressed by having one of the best instructors I have ever learned from. I overcame my fear of presenting in front of people because of his methods.

One year later, I am excited about my career path. I want others to know that no matter what life throws at you, if you work hard without giving up, you can get there with dignity and self-respect, knowing you overcame life’s challenges and are still willing to learn, daily.

Kathleen G.

If you felt inspired by Kathleen’s story and are looking to launch your career you can click to learn more about our Occupational Health & Safety program. Or if you have other interests, you can explore one of our other 30+ leading-edge programs.

When you’re ready to train and embrace the next level of your career, we can help you navigate the steps along the way. Book your virtual appointment with one of our supportive Admissions Advisors today and let’s get you started.

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