Band: Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, SK
Hometown: Pelican Narrows, SK
Program: Hairstylist certificate
When Holly enrolled in the Hairstylist program at Prince Albert campus as a mature student with a husband and four children, she had been out of school for over 10 years. Of course she was nervous about going back—but Holly was also ready.
She had a clear goal in sight and she went for it, graduating in the summer of 2021. Holly started her program in the middle of the pandemic, which means her Sask Polytech experience was much different than that of other students. Her orientation, for example, happened on Zoom instead of on campus. Even so, she says the virtual sessions were inspirational.
As for the virtual learning environment, Holly adjusted pretty well. “I loved attending my classes and learning something new every day,” she says. “My favourite memory is when a few of my classmates and I dressed up for Halloween.”
Holly faced a personal tragedy while studying. “I had to deal with the death of my dad. I think I managed my grief fairly well. Everything that happened has led me to where I am today. I’m quite proud to see how far I’ve come, and I’m happy with the person I’m becoming,” she says.
Holly has encouraging words for other Indigenous students searching for a meaningful career. “Continue your education. It’s very fulfilling, and it might even help you find your purpose if you’re feeling lost.”