News Archives: ELCC Students Take The Leap of Leaving Home
Tuesday, November 15th, 2016
Ashley Rowe and Brigitte Cockney left their hometown of Hay River, Northwest Territories with a population of roughly 4,000 people to come to the big city, and make their dreams a reality.
“I was really afraid of leaving home,” says Rowe, GPRC Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) student. “Back home, everyone knows everyone, and you feel really safe. I was afraid of losing that feeling coming to a place literally 10-times bigger than Hay River.”
Rowe and Cockney both decided to make Grande Prairie their home away from home, because of the ELCC program offered here at the college.
“Grande Prairie is only about an 8-hour drive from home,” says Cockney, GPRC ELCC student. “It’s really nice to have a college here with so many opportunities because you feel like you’re out on your own, but home is also not too far away.”
Many students from all across the country including the Northern Territories have graduated from the ELCC program offered at GPRC.
“Our program is appealing to many learners because of the practical knowledge it provides,” says Theresa Suderman, Instructor and Chair of the ELCC program. “ELCC will prepare students for a worthwhile profession with long-term personal benefits by helping young children, their families and their overall community in which they will eventually live and work in.”
Research studies indicate the first five years in the lives of children are the most critical in terms of their overall development. The ELCC program prepares students for a career not only working with children from birth to upwards of age twelve but also their families in an array of different settings, including child care centres, nursey and kindergarten settings, and family day homes.
“You learn so much,” says Cockney. “The program really makes you realize there is so much more to early childhood than you ever thought, and the instructors are so good at what they do. They are there to help you succeed, and it’s really incredible listening to their experiences because in this profession you do deal with such a different dynamic range of individuals. Every child, and parent are so different.”
Rowe and Cockney were both excited to return to GPRC this September as second year students of the program, but agreed it was scary taking the leap at first.
“I was so afraid coming here last year,” says Rowe. “Up until the day I stepped foot on campus, I honestly didn’t think I’d come. My parents were so supportive, and really encouraged me to take the leap. It only took a couple days before I was totally comfortable here. Not only is the program awesome, but campus in general is so welcoming. They’re always hosting fun events for students, and I made friends in no time. GPRC has honestly become a home away from home for me.”
Cockney and Rowe both had great advice for other learners thinking about moving away from home to embark on their post-secondary journeys.
“Just do it, even if it’s just for the experience. Moving out of your comfort zone is always a scary feeling at first, but you’ll surprise yourself and at the end of the day you’ll be so thankful you did it. Leaving home and coming to GPRC, I’ve gained not only my schooling but also a lot of life experience that I can take back with me to Hay River, or wherever I decide to go to next,” says Cockney.
“It’s really not as intimidating as it seems. Go out to college events and before you know it, you’ll have so many awesome friends to confide in. Plus, the best thing about going somewhere new, is that you always have home to go back too,” says Rowe.
“It’s really inspiring,” says Suderman, of her student’s decisions to leave their comfort zones and travel away from home to come to GPRC. “It’s such a powerful move for these students to make, not only for their professional lives, but also their personal growth. It’s a great thing to witness and be a part of.”
Click here to learn more about the ELCC program at GPRC.