SFU made it all possible

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My association with Simon Fraser University started many years ago in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. I was young when I went to Dawson Creek with my husband, where we raised our three children. My education then was a high school diploma. I had always wanted to attend university and hoped one day it would happen. However, this day seemed like a long way off.

As my kids grew, I had more time. Also, I wanted dearly to do something for my own growth and development after spending years attending to my family’s needs. My dream of going to university resurfaced.

At this time in Dawson Creek, SFU was part of an outreach program for teacher education called Alaska Highway Consortium on Teacher Education (AHCOTE). The small northern town was in desperate need of teachers, especially those who would stay in the community. I was desperate to engage my mind.

The AHCOTE program had only been in existence for a few years back then. I knew several people who had taken it and all had glowing reports. I was accepted as a mature student and entered the program in 1990. My cohort was comprised of local people, mostly women around my own age at the time. We supported each other through our four-year endeavor. What a time it was, too! Between family responsibilities and schoolwork, life was busy, to say the least! At last, I was working on my long cherished hope of earning a degree.

We did most of our courses online and at the local college. Plus, SFU professors would travel up north to present intensive workshops. A couple of summers, we had to come down to campus to get the courses we couldn’t get any other way, so arrangements had to be made for our children. Those summers were special ones, full of ambition and hope.

Then in 1994, I completed my bachelor of education degree and immediately began teaching in School District 59. I taught for four years in the Dawson Creek community. Then, when my kids grew up and left home, I decided to accomplish another aspiration and become an international teacher.

For fifteen years now, I have combined my fondness for travel and an enjoyment of teaching to create a successful career teaching in places like Guatemala and South Korea. In July of 2015, I returned to Vancouver after completing a contract in Shanghai, China. To think that the preparation for my worldwide adventures all started with SFU.

I am very proud of my SFU degree and so glad I had the opportunity to achieve that milestone in my life. It has made all the difference in choosing a path less travelled and a chance to fulfill my dreams, which is no exaggeration! It has been a most rewarding life. Thank you SFU!

Jane Klem
PDP 1994, B.Ed. 1994

Read all the stories from the 1990s