Why We Exist
As a teenaged single parent without a high school diploma and living in subsidized housing, many things felt out of reach for Deanna Burgart.
Hopes and dreams were shelved, extinguished forever – she believed, by the demands of juggling multiple minimum wage jobs, just to keep her small family afloat. It didn’t help that Deanna’s self-confidence was at an all-time low.
But, her future was hardly predetermined. Inspired by a neighbor – a fellow single parent – who had decided to go back to school and was considering Bow Valley College (BVC) because of the financial supports for student-parents, Deanna enrolled in BVC’s academic upgrading program – step one to completing her high school diploma. Managing classes, daycare scheduling and studying with a toddler at home wasn’t easy, but compared to juggling jobs, for Deanna returning to learning was empowering!
She was a strong student and her results, and subsequent awards, boosted her self-confidence. Strength and perseverance also came from the encouragement and tutoring support of Deanna’s BVC instructors. Their unshakeable commitment to her success and belief in her, helped restore her belief in herself, and made her unstoppable.
Deanna followed up her BVC academic upgrading with a chemical engineering technology diploma from SAIT, then later, a chemical engineering degree from Lakehead University. So when she says that her return to learning cultivated a commitment to continuous learning, she means it.
Deanna’s life-changing academic journey also elevated her resiliency and resourcefulness – strengths that now, through the Indigenous Speakers Bureau and other mentoring platforms, she strives to help others develop, especially Aboriginal youth and women. In her words, “I am passionate about helping others find their passion; find their voice; and never give up!”
Bow Valley College helped Deanna Burgart re-ignite her hopes and dreams, believe in herself, and truly Learn a better living and Live a better life. Hear more of Deanna’s story, in her own words in this video.