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ECE graduate receives award.

August 7, 2015

A recent graduate of Northwest Community College’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program has been presented with an award for her performance in, and commitment to, her program.

The Rhena Gardner Memorial Award, presented by the Academic Workers Union, awards $500 to one student who demonstrates maturity and commitment to her studies. The award is named in the memory of Rhena Gardner, a passionate ECE instructor at NWCC who was dedicated to children and families in her community. 

The award's recipient should also have a particular interest in supporting children with special needs. This year’s student is Natasha Paul.

“Always attending class with questions and curiosity, Natasha has challenged herself to go beyond her comfort level in her practice and she strives for excellence in her work, for the benefit of our children and community,” says NWCC’s ECE Coordinator, Jessica Hrechka Fee.

Natasha is inspired by children, and they have a large impact on her learning.  She also found great value in the experiential learning environment provided by NWCC.

“My favourite experience in the ECE program would have to be the times we visited Haisla, Nisga’a and Gitxsan territories,” said Natasha. “I love learning about other cultures in our area.”

Recipients of this award are nominated by NWCC’s ECE faculty who look for someone who is hard working, has good grades and who shows a commitment to the care of children and supporting families. The student should make community connections and be invested in helping others.

Natasha was able to complete her final practicum with a scholarship from The Kermode Friendship Centre in Terrace. She is also employed as an Early Childhood Educator there.

“It was a good investment to provide Natasha with a scholarship to complete her ECE Certificate,” says Cal Albright, Executive Director at Kermode Friendship Centre. “I think it is important to demonstrate to our parents that our staff have met ECE qualifications because it provides confidence that we have invested time to do this.”

The Early Childhood field is an exciting and rewarding profession with a great demand in our region for qualified and dedicated educators to provide quality care. Seats are still available in Northwest Community College’s full-time program starting in September, 2015 at the Terrace campus.

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