Supportive start prepares her for a life of supporting others

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Image of dark haired woman smiling in downtown Cranbrook.

A career fair at College of the Rockies during her grade 12 year proved to be a defining moment in Ktunaxa Nation member Alexis Fisher’s life.

“I had always known I wanted to work with people but before the career fair, I wasn’t aware of the kind of schooling available in the field,” she said.

She left that career fair with a new goal – a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Being from Cranbrook, she wanted to stay close to home for the first few years of college. Attending College of the Rockies for five semesters of University Studies courses not only allowed her to stay home, but also opened the door to some unexpected adventures.

“A College instructor helped me apply for two field schools, one to Guatemala in 2014 and another to London in 2015,” she said. “It was incredible. I had never had the chance to travel before then so I am grateful for that experience. I wouldn’t have known about it or how to apply without the instructor’s guidance. My other instructors were also super accommodating with my time away so that helped as well.”

After finishing at the College, Alexis transferred her credits to Vancouver Island University (VIU) to complete her degree online.

“My credits all transferred easily to VIU,” she said. “I needed to take two additional Human Service Worker courses to fulfill the prerequisites for the BSW, but I had a lot of support from the College to get enrolled in those so it was easy to do.”

While completing her degree, Alexis worked with the Ktunaxa Nation at Operation Street Angel and as an advocate. Since graduating, she now works with the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society as a Family Support Worker. She also plans to return to school.

“I have been accepted to UBC for September 2019 for the Advanced Masters of Social Work program. I am super excited to be going back to school after two years off.”

When looking back on her time at the College, Alexis can’t say enough about her experience.

“When I think of the College and how it prepared me for VIU and UBC, I think of my relationship with my instructors. The College is where I learned how to reach out to people when I need help. I remember struggling with the transition from high school to post-secondary and the instructors are the ones who helped me through it. I’m now comfortable reaching out to all my instructors because I realized that may be the difference between my success in my studies and struggles. That was hugely important when I did my BSW through distance at VIU.

“I also really appreciate the Student Services department as I was able to see a counsellor there during a time of need. The Enrolment Services staff were helpful when I was signing up for classes and the bookstore was extremely helpful when I had to get my textbooks. I was fully funded through my First Nations band and the bookstore staff helped me to go through the necessary processes and were always helpful.

“I’m very thankful to the College and all the instructors there for starting my post-secondary career off right. I love school and a large part of that is the College and how welcoming and accommodating it is.”

Learn more about College of the Rockies’ University Studies program.