Divine is a Pathways alum from Ottawa, Ontario. After graduating from high school in 2016, she pursued a career in nursing and her goal is to work in pediatric care at a local children’s hospital.
Even though her graduation didn’t quite look like she’d planned, Divine, a Pathways alum and nursing school graduate, didn’t let that stop her.
“I’m really excited to start my professional life. I’m excited to be in the nursing world and advocate for the safety of the public and healthcare workers.”
Divine is on her way to becoming a registered nurse at a children’s hospital and feels it’s her responsibility to ensure those around her are well educated when it comes to health events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, she’s helping her community to stay informed and follow up-to-date safety measures.
“Through my work, I get a lot of updates on how to prevent and minimize the impact that COVID-19 is going to have, so I feel a sense of personal duty to share that knowledge.”
While she’s nervous about the risk of contracting COVID-19 while working at a hospital, she’s willing to navigate that challenge to ensure the health and safety of her future patients.
“The other illnesses that people have don’t stop because of it, so I think there’s an importance for us to be there and to rise to the occasion.”
Being able to cope and continue delivering care during these times requires healthcare workers to be adaptable and resilient. Like many of her fellow Pathways alumni, these are skills Divine has been developing since she first joined the Pathways Program.
She remembers attending tutoring sessions and finding a community of peers with Pathways. However, the most impactful part of her Pathways experience was the one-on-one support she received from her Pathways mentor, Emil.
“Knowing that there was someone in my corner that I could ask questions to and that I could have their support and encouragement was significant,” says Divine.
Divine felt Emil was invested in her success. He saw potential in her and supported her passion for learning.
And when Divine’s schedule became too busy as she juggled schoolwork, volunteering, and her many extracurricular activities, Emil was there to help.
He taught her how to manage her time and prioritize her commitments, and he showed her how cultivating these skills would help make her adaptable throughout her life.
When Divine realized she wanted to become a nurse, Emil was once again there to help. He referred her to opportunities, volunteered to be her reference, and helped her apply for many post-secondary scholarships.
“Pathways really helps you see that you can do it. It helps you realize what’s inside and what you want to do, and then pushes you to make it happen,” says Divine.
Once in university, Divine faced many unique challenges, like navigating changed academic schedules caused by strikes and completing clinicals through tornado-induced power outages. Now, she’s entering the nursing field amidst a global pandemic.
But throughout it all, the adaptability and resilience Divine learned during her time at Pathways has helped her thrive.
In June 2020, Divine graduated from nursing school and is now fulfilling her dream of working in a hospital. While she knows there is still uncertainty ahead, Divine feels ready to take on the challenges she’ll face and is excited to be starting her career in pediatric care
And although she didn’t get the graduation ceremony she was looking forward to, Divine still has a positive outlook on the future.
“Celebrating is on pause for now, but I know it’s going to happen,” says Divine. “Being resilient is vital. You have to learn to adapt to and take what life gives to you.”
Despite the resilience that Divine and her fellow Pathways alumni demonstrate, the reality is that the barriers to education have never been higher. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, youth from low-income communities are facing amplified barriers to success that could permanently disconnect them from their education. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Donate today to help them stay connected.