Dawn O’Byrne is like many young women. Her reality wasn’t quite fitting her dream.
“I actually came here (MRU) a few years ago to do Open Studies,” she attests. But, like many, her grades weren’t what she wanted them to be, her focus waivered and her heart wasn’t in it. It seemed she needed time to find herself before she could find her career.
O’Byrne describes her post high school choices, “I really struggled in the past to find a career direction and I felt like my focus at that time was more on my identity.”
She recently enrolled in MRU Continuing Education’s Education Assistant program. “Now,” she says, “I feel like my focus is on where do I see myself career-wise.“
Her story is a familiar one to many of the full-time programs at MRU Continuing Education where a student might not find their stride in traditional education streams. Like O’Byrne, they have to ask themselves if they’d like an office job, or something different.
“I really like helping people,” O’Byrne suggests, “I want to be in a profession that gives back.” Her current practicum placement at Bishop Carroll High School is offering her the opportunity she needs to do just that. And what’s more? She’s succeeding.
“The difference between then and now is that I take my work very seriously.” She glows. “So, I’m more academic now and my grades are wicked!”
As an educator, O’Byrne longs to pass this experience onto others. “The commitment is huge,” she admits, “But having a sense of belonging makes me feel like a stronger individual. I can just be myself.”
That sense of enthusiasm is an enviable one. It’s the sense of pride of one who is actively fulfilling a life-long passion. “Now, when I wake up,” she relays, “I’m not stressed. I can’t wait to get to school… and my practicum.”
“It’s even more fulfilling because this is a career I know I can still be happy doing in twenty years or more.” She smiles, ”I feel like I’m living my dream. I couldn’t be happier.”
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