Not everyone remembers the exact date they were accepted into college. Tina Franca does.
It was Dec. 8, 2014, a holiday in her native Brazil. Tina started classes Sept. 8, 2015, dove passionately into the material, and graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at NBCC Fredericton Campus on June 22, 2016.
These dates changed her life.
“The decision to move to Canada and change careers was a bold and difficult one,” she said. “But NBCC’s program and, above all, instructors, made a huge difference in my professional life goals.”
Before arriving in Canada, Tina had been coordinating student exchanges through a government program in Brazil. The students went to places like Australia, Spain, Argentina… and New Brunswick. One day, Tina got home from work and told her husband she was ready for something different. A move to Canada. A fresh start for her daughter. A new chapter in her life at NBCC.
“NBCC shaped me into the professional I am today,” she said. “It all started there.”
The return to school could have been daunting, but she said the support she found at NBCC carried her through.
A mature student in a class full of mostly recent high school graduates, Tina quickly discovered that “NBCC made no distinction between us, and we were all treated with the same importance a learner needs to focus and work toward graduation and the workforce.”
Along with the people who helped her along the way, Tina is grateful for the bursary she received, which made a major difference in being able to cover her tuition as her husband’s work visa was stalled.
“NBCC is not just a college,” she says. “NBCC is a college that truly prepares one to face the workforce with knowledge, confidence, and experience. It prepares you to be the best version of yourself!”
Stories like Tina’s are driving NBCC to reach unprecedented numbers of learners through its Going Beyond campaign. Donations to the $16 million campaign are helping to break down geographical and financial barriers to enable students to focus on their studies.
As a proud alumna, Tina felt it was important for her to donate to this campaign. She knows it matters. The impact of her NBCC education reverberates in everything she does.
“I will never forget how [the] instructors were able to pass on to us the love for the profession, the importance of the early years in child development and, overall, the respect they taught us to have for the children and their wellbeing,” she said.
Tina was hired immediately after graduation by an Early Learning Centre. She has since finished her B.Ed. in Early Childhood and currently works with the Department of Education and Child Development as an instructor/facilitator. She teaches an Intro to Early Childhood Education Co-op class virtually to high school students across the province.
“I don’t consider it a job anymore,” Tina said. “It’s like a journey. That’s what I tell my students. This a journey where we’re taking, because every single module that you go on to, it’s a little part of our curriculum and it opens doors for you that you cannot imagine.”
Over the years, Tina’s daughter has watched those doors for her mother open following that initial leap of faith. She plans to follow in her mother’s post-secondary path after graduating from high school, studying animation at NBCC.
Learn more about the Going Beyond campaign online.