Con.text

Info Night Attendees Look for Key to Their Futures

At the Community and Health Studies Info Night on March 19 in the Ross Glen Hall, we chatted with a few of the attendees. Although their stories were different, they were all looking to further their education as a key to their future.

In addition to information on Community and Health programs, there was a career fair with industry employers in massage therapy, personal training and funeral service on the hunt for their next hires among our graduating students.

Erika Castro
Erika Casto

After suffering injuries in a car crash seven years ago, Erika Casto has been living with chronic pain and is considered disabled.

“After that, my life changed a lot. I couldn’t sit for too long and I started seeking a lot of treatment trying to recover,” said Casto, whose severe back pain was making her job as a bank account manager excruciating.

Last December, her boss delivered an ultimatum.

“Either I waste what I have working as a teller or I start again in a different career. And that’s why I’m here.”

Casto found the answers she was looking for. She says she realizes her journey to wellness holds the key to her future.

“I tried different practitioners and medicines that I never thought existed. Eventually my own therapist told me if you’re not on your own path, your body doesn’t heal. If I change my path, my body will heal.”

Casto learned more about training in Reiki and was able to connect with potential employers asking what they look for when hiring staff.

“I have found interesting things.”

Yassin Alwarid
Yassin Alwarid

After completing more than 800 required hours through a Vancouver spa therapy course, Yassin Alwarid struck off for the Yukon and started his own massage business.

But 18 months after opening his Whitehorse doors, sweeping regulation changes issued by insurance companies requiring registered massage therapists to have 2,200 hours of training made it impossible for Alwarid to serve his clients.

“I started researching recommended Registered Massage Therapist schools and Calgary came up. I came over to Mount Royal to check it out. This is the only university in Canada that offers massage therapy,” said Alwarid, 38.

“I did it on reputation, it was a good choice. The campus is great, and it’s convenient for me for where I found a place to live. And being in Alberta, you get good connections here.”

Now in his second year of the massage therapy program, Alwarid says he’s excited for his future and feels more at home thanks to Calgary’s urban buzz.

“Calgary’s got some culture, the people are nice. It’s been a good experience.”

Krista Robb
Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson is a professional driver looking to shift gears in his career.

“I’m looking to broaden my horizons and see what kind of options I have,” said Robinson, 54.

He checked out Continuing Education’s Police Studies program and learned more about a career as a parole officer.

“I think I’m pretty good at understanding people. If I can get something along those lines, a bit more intellectual and less physical, I’m interested,” he said.

“I’m here to see how else I can help in society.”

Krista Robb
Krista Robb

Krista Robb says her university studies elsewhere left her cold and uninspired. While working for an airline, she volunteered to help build houses for the needy in the Dominican Republic.

That’s when she came down with an illness that changed her life.

“It was really a huge magnifying glass on my life. You’re not sick because you have a parasite or don’t feel well, you were sick before you left,” said Robb.

“I came back and went on a big health journey. Now that I’m healthy I want to get out there and help other people.”

Robb is looking to bundle her resources as she narrows down her field of study in wellness.

She’s still fine tuning her future, but knows it’s going to involve yoga, nutrition, environmental consciousness and spirituality.

See more photos from the CHS Info Night on Facebook.

It’s always nice to hear what brings people out to information night, and inspires people to continue their education. Tell us your story and let us know why you keep learning, in the comments.

by Karen McCarthy with files from Sherri Zickefoose

Spring Ahead with Continuing Education

Leadership: Wild West Style
Leadership: Wild West Style

This has been a long, tough winter in Calgary but the big thaw is underway. One sure sign of spring is our Spring/Summer calendar, with registration opening this week. Warmer weather can’t be too far behind – can it?

Here are some highlights of our Spring and Summer semesters.

What could be more Calgary than our new workshops, Leadership: Wild West Style? Presented in association with Bluegem Learning & Development and Equine Connection in Strathmore, these three workshops in late June/early July teach leadership skills in an unusual setting. A 1,100-pound horse won’t move just because you tug her halter. She only moves if she trusts you. Build your team and leaderships skills, and have fun at the same time.

Spring Yard & Garden courses are created for the Calgary climate. Find out about naturalized landscaping, organic vegetable gardens, water features and more. Put your green thumb to work this May.

For the first time, our Sales Development program is available in a Fast Track format. You can earn your Certificate of Completion in just 6 days of classes in August.

Human Anatomy and Human Physiology are now available online. Anyone applying for the Massage Therapy Diploma, Personal Fitness Trainer Diploma or Yoga Therapy Extension Certificate can get a head start on their program by completing one or both of these courses in advance. Completion of the courses does not guarantee acceptance into the program, however. The courses are also available to the general public.

Wondering what your kids can get involved with this summer? Whatever their interests – art, sports, science, computers, leadership, theatre – MRU Kids has something they will love. Day camps feature free before and after care, plus daily recreational activities on the beautiful campus of Mount Royal University.

The Conservatory also offers a variety of summer programs for children and young adults.

Morningside Music Bridge features a joyous month of classical music concerts – many of them free of charge – this July. Here is your chance to hear outstanding young artists and distinguished faculty on the concert stage.

For details on these and many more programs, visit our website.

by Karen McCarthy