Monday, June 14, 2010

Medal winner shakes off first day jitters to achieve excellence

When Anna Winters made the fateful decision to return to school, she packed a lot of anxiety along with her books.

“I was terrified on the first day of classes,” Winters recalls. “I’d been out of school for more than 20 years and I wasn’t sure I could do it.”

She clearly got the hang of it; on June 3, Winters graduated from Douglas College’s Health Care Support Worker Certificate program as the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal. This prestigious medal is awarded on behalf of the Honourable Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia to a student who has achieved high standing in a vocational or career program of less than two years duration, and who has contributed in a positive way to the college or community. Winters finished her program with an overall Grade Point Average of 4.23 out of a possible 4.33.

The medal caps off an eventful year for the Coquitlam resident, starting with her decision to return to school.

“I was just at the point where I was looking for something new,” she says. “Health care has always been a part of my life and I’m very passionate about caregiving, so I made an appointment with an advisor at Douglas and discovered the program.”

It wasn’t always easy, as Winters was forced to juggle the demands of school with work and raising two kids.

“I realized how much work it could be, but I struggled for the first month,” she says. “Eventually, I learned to get into a routine and stuck with it, but getting enough sleep was always challenging!”

For the moment, Winters is finishing off her practicum with a local psychiatric care facility, even as she basks in the glow of her medal win.

“Receiving the medal was one of the proudest moments of my life and I’m so glad my children were there to see it,” she says. “When I started at Douglas College, I set out to prove something to myself. And I did it!”
-photo by Blaine Winters