News Archives: Governor General's Academic Medal Recipient 2019
Monday, September 23rd, 2019
Brooke Hart, Governor General's Academic Medal Recipient 2019 with Dr. Tim Heath, GPRC Vice President Academics and Research.
Brooke Hart was unsure about what she wanted to do for a living until she came across a quote that suddenly made everything click.
“‘What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits,’” says GPRC Alumna Brooke Hart. “After reading that quote, I thought about it and, well, I just loved being a kid. I had a great childhood, I had so much fun. And then suddenly a light bulb came on and I thought, I want to work with children.”
Listening to her gut instincts paid off. Now a proud holder of a diploma in early learning and child care, Hart’s is this year’s winner of the Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal — one of the most prestigious awards a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive.
The medal is only awarded to one student each year, who achieves the highest overall grade point average upon graduation from a diploma-level, post-secondary program, with a minimum two-year, full-time duration. The award includes a cast-bronze medal and a certificate signed by the Governor General.
“I'm so honoured that I got this. I worked really hard but didn't think I would get this award,” says Hart. “It's just a really nice way to close out that chapter of being at school and to say, ‘Now look what I've gotten from it. Not only did I get an amazing job that I love and that I'm passionate about, but I got this cool award.’ And it's just surreal.”
Hart currently works as a child development worker at the daycare centre at GPRC, which she attributes in part to the opportunity she was given to conduct a practicum there during her studies.
“Being able to go through practicums before you get out in the workforce helps you decide what age group you want to work with, and whether you even like being an early childhood educator, because it can be very challenging,” says Hart, who has since discovered a particular affinity for working with preschool-aged children.
“Between the ages of three to six, they're just developing a sense of humour and you can really see them becoming their own person. It's just so cool to watch that unique personality unfold.”
Born in Campbell River, a small town on Vancouver Island, Hart moved to Grande Prairie with her mother as a child. It was an easy transition, she says; so too was her time at GPRC.
“It's just so comfortable here at the College and everyone is so friendly. The instructors have been amazing and have seriously gone above and beyond,” she says.
“I’ve made some of my best friends in the program and we're still like best friends to this day.”
While Hart sees limitless opportunities in her future, she says she would like to stay in the early learning and child care field, and eventually earn a master’s degree in psychology.
“I could then become an instructor in the ELCC program in the College, which I love because it's just such a wonderful place to be,” she says. “Plus I would be close to the daycare so I could visit whenever I wanted."
“I'm so happy that GPRC offers the ELCC program because otherwise, who knows? I would have either had to have moved away or picked a different field to go into.”