Marÿke Hendrikse took the long road to her Child and Youth Care diploma. But her patience and hard work have paid off; Hendrikse graduated on June 2 as the recipient of the Governor General’s Bronze Medal.
The prestigious award is granted to the Douglas College student with the highest standing in a two-year diploma program. Hendrikse achieved an overall grade point average of 4.15 out of a possible 4.33.
The Vancouver resident actually joined the program in 2005, but opted to do it on a part-time basis while she continued to work.
“I had other things happening and didn’t want to go into the field before I was ready,” she said. “I looked at a lot of different programs and the one at Douglas College fit the ideal that I had.”
However, now that she’s completed the program, Hendrikse is excited to start her new career.
“I love working with kids and feel strongly about the way they should be supported through the world,” she says. “I’m interested in eventually having my own office or an agency where I can work with a team to serve different kinds of clients, including children and families. I want to be able to be flexible and creative in what I do.”
Hendrikse says the announcement of her Bronze Medal award during her graduation ceremony came as a surprise.
“I was completely shocked when they called my name. I didn’t know what to do, if I should sit or stand up. I just sat there!” she recalls.
Shocked or not, the award is one she says she’ll take pride in.
“I worked hard and I wanted to do my best. I was happy to get the grades I did, but this is a nice cherry on top.”
-photo by Ian Szufnara