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Perseverance Makes a Dream Come True

When Dez received the email that she had been accepted in the Office Assistant Program at North Island College, she was elated.

“Honestly, I almost started crying,” she says. “It felt like a dream. It still does!”

It is a dream come true and the result of years of hard work and perseverance. Dez has been interested in office work since she was a teenager. When asked which office tasks she likes the most, it’s hard for her to decide.

“I think I like all of it. Answering phones, filing, greeting people. I think I will enjoy doing all the things an office assistant does,” she says.

Dez enjoys studying and has worked hard to upgrade her education.

For the last three years, Dez has been upgrading her education in preparation for application to the program. She took Math and English courses and says she enjoyed the math classes most. When she came up against challenges, she sought help.

“My teachers were all really helpful,” she says, adding that the staff at her home were also a great help.

Dez lives in a home facilitated by Communitas Supportive Care Society, which she shares with her housemate. Stacy Waffle-Rennie manages the home and says Dez is a natural assistant.

“She definitely contributes to our home. She waters the gardens, folds her laundry, and feeds her fish. She also helps us with celebrations in the home by preparing guest lists, grocery lists, menu and entertainment planning. She is very dedicated to her projects.”

Watering the garden is one of the many ways that Dez helps around her home.

Stacy says that Dez was also called upon to help in her classroom. Before working on her academic upgrading, Dez took classes for persons with disabilities, including courses in computers and in sign language.

“Her teacher was impressed with Dez’s abilities and approached her to become a Teacher’s Assistant,” Stacy says. “She was so honoured to do this work and help others in the class. We are so proud of her.”

Staff in the home supported her with encouragement and help with homework when possible. Before the current pandemic closed campuses across the country, they ensured that Dez got to her class on time. When classes went fully online, Dez was already prepared because some of her course work was already being done in this environment.

Before the COVID pandemic, Dez took some of her classes on campus at North Island College. Staff helped get here there.

She doesn’t know yet what classes will look like come September, but when she’s finished, she hopes to find an inclusive environment where she will be accepted for her skills. Stacy says Dez will make an excellent office assistant.

“She has very good communication skills and enjoys being with people. She will be an asset to her future employer.”

For now, Dez is excited about the next step in fulfilling her dream and looking forward to when classes will start. And she continues to dream about the future.

“I don’t know how much work is available in Campbell River, but I’m looking forward to working as an office assistant!”

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