Mariam graduated from Pathways Kitchener in 2019 and recently completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Waterloo. She is now studying towards her PharmD degree at the same school, a program leading to a career as a pharmacist. In her spare time, Mariam volunteers as a Pathways Alumni Ambassador.
Mariam joined the Pathways Program in Grade 11 after her family relocated from Edmonton. Mariam found it difficult to keep up with new classes and new peers, and she was worried about completing her volunteer hours in a new city. Most of all, Mariam struggled to find someone she could talk to about all of this. Then, she heard about the Pathways Program. “One of the great things about Pathways was that they had an office within the school,” Mariam explains. “If I needed to talk to someone, they were right there.”
Once her short-term concerns around moving were addressed, Mariam was able to talk to Pathways staff about her career goals. Mariam wasn’t too sure about her plans yet, but she knew that she loved her science classes. In fact, she often talked to program staff about that. “A lot of people at Pathways knew about my interests and told me I should keep going and focus on STEM,” Mariam explains. “The staff told me that even if I wasn’t sure about exactly what I would go on to do, it was worth committing to it.”
Pathways staff also encouraged Mariam to consider job shadowing and volunteering to learn about her career options. That’s how she discovered a calling for a part of health care she hadn’t given much thought to: pharmacy. “I took advice from Pathways staff and started working at a community pharmacy to learn about the job,” Mariam explains. “It taught me a lot about how involved the pharmacists were with patients and the community. It’s an area of health care at the heart of community life.”
Now in her first year of pharmacy school, Mariam is learning about the ins and outs of the career she first discovered while job shadowing. Every day brings surprises, and Mariam is eager to keep learning. But she’s not done with Pathways; outside of school, she’s giving back to the program as an Alumni Ambassador. “I loved getting to connect with so many alumni at last year’s Ambassador weekend,” she shares. “It’s great to be able to give back to the Pathways Program as I move towards my own career.”
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