From inspired to inspiration

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When Shamaya Blanchette started on her post-secondary journey she didn’t have a clear education path in mind. It was one of her College of the Rockies instructors, Leslie Molnar, who inspired her to pursue Math.

“I began my studies at the College because it was close to home and was a great steppingstone before attending a larger university,” she said. “At first, I didn’t have a specific route I wanted to take for my education, but Leslie inspired me to consider mathematics. She continuously challenged me in the courses I took from her while simultaneously encouraging my achievements. She was very supportive and shared her own experiences which helped me explore how math can be used in many areas. She also empowered me by demonstrating that even though I am a woman in a field that is predominantly male, I can still achieve my education and career goals.”

Shamaya now aspires to be an inspiration for other women and girls considering pursuing education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

Shamaya earned her Associate of Science degree at the College before going on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria. Now employed by Science Venture, a UVIC-based organization, Shamaya works to inspire youth around Vancouver Island through the delivery of innovative STEM programs. She has also applied to Grad school for her Masters in Statistics, focusing on Biostatistics.

Knowing the importance of a good foundation when entering STEM fields, Shamaya is grateful for the support and encouragement she received at College of the Rockies.

“I really enjoyed the small class sizes as they allowed me to have good relationships with my teachers and helped me succeed in my courses,” she said. “My time there also helped me develop the skills I needed to succeed as a student at UVIC. The College was also financially accessible, and being in my hometown, I had the benefit of my family’s support throughout my studies. I’d encourage others to consider the College, even if it is a few courses to explore what you are interested in. You could discover something really cool.”