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Île-à-la-Crosse ECE Students: The Face of Resilience

By Marilyn Black & Desirae Barker

Jun 3, 2021

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Clockwise from top left: Candace Crookedneck; Stacey Bouvier, Alannah Durocher, Nicole Lavoie

The impacts on student learning over the past year have been immense. The abrupt transitions to online education, balancing family life, and mental health, all while trying to remain safe from COVID-19, have imposed negative effects on many students. For the community of Île-à-la-Crosse, it has been especially challenging.

Early in the pandemic, the Île-à-la- Crosse community suffered a tragic loss as well as an outbreak of COVID- 19. The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program in this community struggled with retention due to these extreme circumstances. At the end of the program there were

three resilient students left who have worked extremely hard to continue their studies despite the challenges and have shared their experiences below:

Candace Crookedneck
Candace Crookedneck is a level one ECE student and persevered throughout the pandemic for her family. Her close family consists of her parents, children, and boyfriend. They have been her greatest support system and given her an extra push when she didn’t want to continue. She is also grateful for the support of her instructor, Nicole, who was understanding and helped her cope with stress. Candace’s long-term goals are to finish the ECE program and further her education by applying for the Educational Assistant program. Her advice to others is, “Giving up is easy, so why not challenge yourself to keep going? Have positive intentions because it trains your mind to do better and be better.” Candance has recently obtained employment at the Île-à-la-Crosse Fire Cache.

Alannah Durocher
Alannah Durocher is a level one ECE student and has balanced raising two young children and attending online classes during the pandemic. Her biggest supporters during this time have been her daughter’s grandma and her son’s step-grandma, who have always been willing to help with her children so she can study. Alannah is also thankful for her instructor, Nicole, who is always there to talk, listen, and encourage her to finish the course. Although she was close to quitting many times, Alannah stayed motivated throughout the program for her children. She wants to show them that anything is possible and states, “I want my children to see that you must never give up on your dreams, no matter what life throws at you.”

Stacy Bouvier
Stacy Bouvier is a level one ECE student, and 2020 was the hardest year for her attending online classes during a pandemic on top of dealing with a loss in her family; her eldest brother. Throughout these hard times, her biggest supports have been her parents. Whenever she felt that she wanted to give up, her parents would encourage her by saying, “Come on my girl, you’re almost there, don’t give up!” Stacy has not given up throughout this year and has overcome many barriers while continuing to succeed in the program. She is positive that the support she has received over this past year will help her deal with whatever life throws at her.

Thank you, Candance, Alannah, and Stacy for sharing your stories. You are truly the face of resilience and have shown so much strength during these challenging times. All the best in your future!

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