Billy Jean Cote
Hometown: Kamsack, SK
Band: Cote First Nation
Program: Welding certificate
Talking with her Adult Education 12 instructor at Parkland College one day, Billy Jean remembers her instructor saying that her experience at Sask Polytech was one to remember. That sounded encouraging, so Billy Jean began exploring the various programs offered at Sask Polytech and enrolled in the Welding program.
The First Nations student also signed up for the Summer Transition Program, which took place a week before the start of the fall semester. “The Summer Transition Program is my favourite memory. I met a lot of people and got a lot of information about Sask Polytech.”
As her program got underway, Billy Jean was happy to see all the student support services available. “I liked having help to pursue my goal. The instructors were really nice and tried their best to help in any area I was having trouble with.”
Welding is a one-year certificate program with a focus on practical learning. Billy Jean spent almost 75 per cent of her time in the shop learning hands-on from experienced instructors. That inspired her to set a goal of working for Seaspan, a marine business that operates shipyards, ferries, tugs and barges on the West Coast.
Billy Jean has some inspiring words for anyone starting out on their educational journey. “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and stay optimistic. Believe in yourself. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. Never give up. You’ll thank yourself one day.”