Student Testimonials

Hi Dr. J

Thank you for your email.

I had a fantastic time at Camp last summer and am disappointed I wasn't able to come this year do to other commitments.

The SFU camp was a real turning point for me. Prior to camp I lacked self confidence and did not have a real understanding of my culture. By the end of the month I really started believing in myself. I was also excited to learn more about my culture. The teachers were inspiring and the other students were amazing. I miss them. I have kept in touch with some and built some lifelong relationships.

This past year I have been involved in many different things that I am not sure I would have been able to had I not developed more self confidence through the SFU camp.

I was accepted into the Minerva "Combining Our Strength" Indigenous Roots Program which is a year long leadership program for Indigenous girls. Maybe you saw me in the Vancouver Sun article on Aboriginal Day!

I also attended the "Learning to Lead" Program for grade 11 girls at UBC in May. In July I was accepted to a mini u camp for Indigenous students at UVic.

This Sept I am entering my last year of high school. Can't believe I will be graduating soon!

I haven't decided exactly what I want to do after high school yet but I am excited about all of the opportunities.

Thank you to you, and everyone involved in the SFU camp for making a huge impact on me and my future.

I would love to stop in at the closing ceremonies on Friday. My mom and I are heading out of town Friday but we can stop in for 11:30 if it's ok that she comes with me.

Looking forward to seeing all of you!



Camp 2016


Hi Veselin,

Here is a paragraph detailing my experiences in the camp:

The academic summer camp was an enriching experience which provided education on Math, English, and the culture of the First Nations people. My favorite activity in the camp was the Math portion. I honestly felt that the teacher would educate at the student’s pace and would encourage the pupil to exceed their boundaries. This camp made me further motivated to succeed in high school so that I would get into a respectable university. During the Summer, I am working full-time with the CRA. As of now, I have completed my first year of university at SFU in Computer Science. As an avid gamer, I have always wondered how my favorite games were made and have found the answer in computer programming. I hope to create video games for the next generation to enjoy. In September, I will be returning to SFU and will be taking a full course load and working part-time with the CRA. I really appreciate the opportunity to be a participant of this wonderful camp. 

Also, I will not be able to attend the closing ceremony as I am working full-time with the CRA.

Thanks for the amazing opportunity to experience this camp!


Camp 2014-15



Some of the memories that i recall from my time when i was at camp was doing all the projects and exciting activities we did with the different departments in the university. For example playing with the robotics, the showing of all the different bees and pollinators and getting a tour of the criminology section. The interaction with the teachers and especially the students helped influence me in a great way. I was pretty reserved in my first year of high school and also during the summer camp(until the last day) but some of the words my fellow students said stuck with me and I used it as my words to go by when i would go into my second year of high school. The phrases that were said to me is "be open with yourself" "you are a interesting person" which gave me a new self confidence which allowed me to have an enjoyable school year in the school year of 2015/2016. Since completing the camp I am deciding to focus on getting into computer science so i have focused on my math classes and have taken a computer programming course and hopefully to get another for my final year. some non-academic things  i have been doing is focusing on the sport Curling and getting with a team with good goals, Taking my competition coaching course for Curling so I am currently in training and once i get certified I can coach people who are at a competitive level and have started to volunteer with the city of Coquitlam and helping with summer camps. Coming this September I am hopefully going to become a certified coach and coach a curling team, Compete in curling competitions with my new curling team and I will be looking into which Colleges and or Universities I want to apply to and possibly looking to apply to study abroad for a year.   


Camp 2015


Hi Dr. J,

When I think back to the camp last summer, besides the unforgettable experiences at TRIUMPH and the cool forensics day... I remember making new and lasting friends! I was with kids I had never met before, yet we all had one thing in common; we're aboriginal.

Being surrounded by my fellow youth in an unfamiliar environment changed my perspective of university. We had the freedom to explore SFU together and it became less intimidating as the month progressed. I feel like college/university is now a realistic place for me to be, after high school.

Since last July, I went to Lillooet, BC where I visited my band for the first time (Ts'qw'aylaxw First Nation) with my dad and uncle. I went on a collegiate tour for softball (called Canada Futures) in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. I finished grade 10 at PMSS in the International Baccalaureate programme. I received the Premier's Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport, and I won bronze in NAIG 2017 (Toronto) playing softball for Team BC. I also was apart of Team 88 (Team BC Ambassador) for Truth and Reconciliation which also led to a podcast with CBC Radio.

This upcoming September, I plan on going back to school for grade 11 in the IB Programme at PMSS. I hope to keep good grades along with continuing soccer and softball throughout the school year.

That was a little more than a paragraph but I think it covers your questions pretty well! I would have loved to come to the closing ceremonies but unfortunately I am unable to attend because I am currently on a family vacation in Montreal and Quebec City.

I hope you are doing well and that the kids at this summer's camp had a blast! It was nice to hear from you.

Thank you,


Camp 2016


My time at the SFU summer math and English camp was a summer I will always remember. Throughout the camp I had met amazing teachers and students who I still talk to, to this day. I know that the experiences I had there had allowed me to be more open with myself, and gave me a platform to let go of what had been holding me back. I would say this camp had a positive influence on a lot of the things I decided to do after the summer of 2014. I remember always being excited for English and Math during the camp, not only did the teachers make it easier to learn but they made learning so much fun. Although I have to say I loved English a little more, our teacher that year was and continues to be a huge inspiration for me. I remember the friends I had made at the camp most of them would be on the same bus as me and we would ride home together. Eventually we took up the entire back of the bus and no one else really wanted to sit with us, but we talked to whoever did join us in the back. Shortly after the camp I continued on to the eleventh grade and finally got my first A in pre- calculus; and I would definitely say the camp helped. After graduating high school I took a year off to think about where I wanted my life to start, eventually choosing the field of Law. This September I will be attending the Vancouver Career College to be a paralegal, and from there I'll eventually go back to school to become a lawyer. I've always valued my time at this camp and would like to thank everyone who attended and taught. This camp was a huge part in becoming who I am today. 


Camp 2014


Hello Dr. J,

While I attended SFU, one of my favorite memories was going to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC Vancouver. It was a very memorable experience and it was very enjoyable for me and everyone that went as well. Another thing I found was really important to me was the unique teaching styles of the teachers. They taught me in a way which other teachers could not, they actually made learning fun and that will always stick with me.

Attending the SFU Academic Summer Camp really gave me a taste of what university life would be like. It steered me in the right direction and also taught me many valuable lessons. One thing I learned is that one should aim to sit in the front of the lecture hall (which seems like a no-brainer, really) as you are actually paying for your own learning and you need to make the most of it. The people I met were my favorite part of going to camp. Everyone there made the experience so much better than it already was.

After camp, I have accomplished many things. I was nominated for valedictorian of my school (Princess Margaret Secondary) and almost won. To add on, I was also awarded the Pillar Award - an award given to students who demonstrate school spirit, leadership, and selflessness.

Come September, I will be attending UBC Okanagan. I am registered in the nursing program and I couldn't be happier. I plan to become a registered nurse. Getting accepted into the BSN program at UBC-O put me halfway through to my goals.

I might be a little late coming to the closing ceremony today but I will be there!



Camp 2015-16


A few of the good memories I have of the 2015 summer camp are of the miniature robot fights, studying forensics with forensic entomologist Gail Anderson, watching 8th fire as well as the inquiry project, in our English class, attempting riddles and progressing my mathematical capabilities in math class, and the old friends I made. Recalling my summer camp experience, it greatly shifted my views of the formalities and blandness of post-secondary into a casual and fun place to be. Most importantly, the camp instilled in me the ability to be confident in my endeavours. Since the 2015 Academic Summer Camp for Aboriginal Students concluded, I have been keeping myself busy with work, school and, unfortunately, still working on my 1969 VW Bug. Just recently I graduated from Saint Patrick's Regional Secondary, achieving 1st Honours and receiving the Artona Bursary Award. Coming this September I am enrolled at Langara in their 'Applied Sciences for Engineering: Transfer' program and look forward to transferring to UBC afterwards.


Camp 2015


The summer of 2015 was the best summer I have ever had! Taking part in the Academic Summer Camp For Aboriginal Students gave me much needed confidence, for the first time I actually believed I could achieve the things I was being told I could. The teaching staff and leadership was phenomenal. They were invested, encouraging and sincere in their interest in seeing us succeed. They absolutely made the program for me, hands down, because they changed my attitude toward my education. It was the very first time I felt just as smart as everyone else and the first time I felt I was actually understanding what it was I was learning, rather than just going through the motions and hoping for the best like I had done in school for so long. The group of young people I was with that year was also exceptional, it was nice to be surrounded by people my age who wanted to do better for themselves too. They were welcoming and supportive, I felt like I was part of something special and I always felt included.

The program itself, as well as its guests, were interesting and relevant, I learned so much from their wisdom and experience. I remember feeling a lot of respect that summer and so much gratitude for the opportunity to be there. The experience also made me feel more independent. Taking the bus into the “big city” by myself and spending time with people from all over the lower mainland showed me there was so much more to discover outside of my own small town. The experience also took the fear out of post secondary education and by the end of the program I felt like I belonged here. After graduating high school in 2016 I had planned to attend the SFU university prep program … but what my heart was really telling me was that I needed to act and I felt this was the time for me to take a risk and do just that because I knew that SFU would always be there for me in the future, and so I applied at a TV and film college in Vancouver and not only did I get in but I won a merit-based bursary to help get me started! I am currently finishing up my first year there and will be moving on to my second year in September. I have definitely found my true passion in acting!

When I look back at my summer at SFU I credit the encouragement I received as a contributing factor in my ability to chase my dreams today, and if there is anything I can pass on to this class I would say that this is the time to leap, when you are young and have your whole life ahead of you. This is the time to take a chance on yourself, to advocate for yourself and to even make mistakes because what I have learned already, at the ripe old age of 19, is that you don’t regret the things you try to do to improve your life, you only regret the things you didn’t do because you didn’t think you were worth it or didn’t have the confidence to try. Just try anyway, because soon you will believe you are worth it!


Camp 2015



Camp 2014


Thank you for having us today Dr. J, it was really nice to see so many young aboriginal students so happy and eager to learn. A very nostalgic feeling came over me today just hearing about their experiences.

I faintly remember some of the activities we did such as the MOA, Triumph, the Forensics Tour & Presentation, and of course the English and Math classes. I remember most fondly the relationships that I created with the other students and workers/volunteers. The Math classes were a great way for me to practice my math skills and Jordan did an extraordinary job at playing to each students strengths. Carley's fresh and unique take on an English classroom was very interesting and it drew creativity from each one of us, I'm hoping that university English classes will be similar. The way that the two of them engaged the classroom was amazing. For me, the camp was a great confidence boost, especially for my heritage. It also taught me about the importance of networking and to never underestimate my capabilities. 

Since my last IRMACS camp I have finished Grade 11 and 12 (I was very sorry that I didn't make the time to attend last year) and I will be attending UBC this September for Media Studies! I'm hoping that this exemplifies that this camp is a breeding grounds for successful Indigenous students. 

Once again thanks for having me, I truly enjoyed my time. In the future I would be more than happy to volunteer/work for you guys if you ever needed the help, please contact me if this is possible. This camp had been such a wonderful experience and I hope that it can continue on for many years to come. 



Camp 2015