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More than 300 receive diplomas, certificates from community college


TRURO – Krissy McDonald wants to help people on the inside.

McDonald, 37, was one of 316 graduates from the Nova Scotia Community College Truro campus Tuesday. Her diploma in criminal justice was a move, she said, spearheaded by her two brothers.

“Being from a reserve, I was seeing how people were always saying there is a high rate of Aboriginals in prison,” said the mother of six. “My two brothers had been in jail and I had one of them call me to say how he was lost and didn’t have anyone. That pushed me toward that. I thought by taking this course, I could get into the prison for being there to support Aboriginals.”

Originally, the Indian Brook woman had wanted to become an addictions counselor, just like her father.

“But when I heard the stories from the institutions, I wanted to help my people from the other side,” she said.

On her first day of the two-year program, McDonald had major hesitation. She turned to Chasity Lucio, co-ordinator of Aboriginal student services, for advice.

“In the beginning, I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t feel smart enough,” McDonald admitted. “Chasity said, ‘don’t doubt yourself, you can do this.’”

She took Lucio’s advice and gave the program a month. And she fell in love.

“Completing this program is not only a gift to myself, but to my children as well.”

McDonald has a grandchild under the age of one.

“I can show them that if you set yourself to goals, you can do anything.”

During the convocation ceremony, valedictorian Tyra Denny told her fellow graduates they should be proud of their accomplishments, but that there’s still more to learn.

“There are many things in life that I am determined to accomplish but my main goal I’d like to focus on is to advocate for first nations children and youth across Nova Scotia,” she said, receiving cheers and applause. “I know there will be challenges along the way, but I’m willing to take it on. I want to help prevent the violence and abuse in my communities, and I will do it.”

She explained the power of positivity to those at the ceremony, and how she was determined to stand up there as valedictorian.

“Once you put your mind to a goal you plan to achieve, you will achieve it. If the plan does not work out the way you wanted it to work out for you, just pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.”

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

 

 

McDonald, 37, was one of 316 graduates from the Nova Scotia Community College Truro campus Tuesday. Her diploma in criminal justice was a move, she said, spearheaded by her two brothers.

“Being from a reserve, I was seeing how people were always saying there is a high rate of Aboriginals in prison,” said the mother of six. “My two brothers had been in jail and I had one of them call me to say how he was lost and didn’t have anyone. That pushed me toward that. I thought by taking this course, I could get into the prison for being there to support Aboriginals.”

Originally, the Indian Brook woman had wanted to become an addictions counselor, just like her father.

“But when I heard the stories from the institutions, I wanted to help my people from the other side,” she said.

On her first day of the two-year program, McDonald had major hesitation. She turned to Chasity Lucio, co-ordinator of Aboriginal student services, for advice.

“In the beginning, I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t feel smart enough,” McDonald admitted. “Chasity said, ‘don’t doubt yourself, you can do this.’”

She took Lucio’s advice and gave the program a month. And she fell in love.

“Completing this program is not only a gift to myself, but to my children as well.”

McDonald has a grandchild under the age of one.

“I can show them that if you set yourself to goals, you can do anything.”

During the convocation ceremony, valedictorian Tyra Denny told her fellow graduates they should be proud of their accomplishments, but that there’s still more to learn.

“There are many things in life that I am determined to accomplish but my main goal I’d like to focus on is to advocate for first nations children and youth across Nova Scotia,” she said, receiving cheers and applause. “I know there will be challenges along the way, but I’m willing to take it on. I want to help prevent the violence and abuse in my communities, and I will do it.”

She explained the power of positivity to those at the ceremony, and how she was determined to stand up there as valedictorian.

“Once you put your mind to a goal you plan to achieve, you will achieve it. If the plan does not work out the way you wanted it to work out for you, just pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.”

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

 

 

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