Education grad’s tenacity pays off
Simon Fraser University’s Spring Convocation 2012 will take place this week starting today, Tuesday June 12 with the first ceremony at 2:30 p.m. and two ceremonies (9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) on each of Weds, Thurs, Friday. For more on SFU’s Convocation schedule as well as this spring’s honorary degree recipients, see http://at.sfu.ca/KvHUWY.
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017; Marianne_Meadahl@sfu.ca
Convocation hometown list: http://at.sfu.ca/hcrEAR
Eva Johnston was bounced between private and public high schools, less than enthusiastic about the curriculum. She quit at 16 after she became pregnant.
She later tried alternative school programs but nothing worked out. By age 22, a mother of two young children, she realized that without work experience or a high school diploma, she was unlikely to find a good job.
So with support from her partner Mike and funding from the Squamish Nation Stitsma and Squamish Nation Education departments, she headed back to school again, first earning a high-school equivalency diploma, then an associate of arts degree at Capilano University.
This week, she’ll receive yet another education credential — a bachelor of general studies degree from SFU’s Faculty of Education.
“I just wanted to show my kids that I could do it,” she says now, after seven long years of full-time study at both universities.
Johnston currently has a short-term work contract with the Squamish Nation’s education department, but expects that her educational path isn’t yet complete.
Originally intent on becoming an elementary teacher, she now realizes she would rather work with children rather than teaching them. “I might get a certificate in special needs or become a liaison worker,” she says. “I’d like to help other kids who are in the same situation that I was with regards to the curriculum.”
Johnston’s children, Francisco, age 15, and Diego, 11, have caught Johnston’s new love of school, and have witnessed first-hand that perseverance pays off and will be watching as their mother crosses the convocation dais at Friday’s ceremony.
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