Contributed by Okanagan College
International Adult Learners’ Week encourages lifelong learning, raises awareness about learning opportunities, and recognizes the accomplishments of adult learners.
The Adult Learners’ Nomination Awards recognize adult learners who have accomplished outstanding learning achievements. Through education or training, these learners may have gained new skills, discovered something new about themselves, disciplined themselves to reach a goal, or taken risks. Adults gain new skills to change careers, sometimes by choice, but often out of necessity. Many adult learners strive to keep their minds sharp or learn simply because they are passionate to understand the world. For some, learning does not come easy; this nomination also acknowledges these learners’ courage and perseverance. Our adult nominees all have unique stories. Their accomplishments will likely improve their lives and make a positive difference in our community.
We hope these nominations inspire other adult learners to keep learning.
Here are the nominees:
At a time when Danielle Fenrich may have questioned her ability to succeed, she pushed through her uncertainty to be accepted to the program of her choice and become an exceptional adult student. Danielle grew as an adult learner in the Education Assistant Program. She became more and more engaged with the course content and enjoyed her time in class. She was an active participant in discussions with many very interesting and well-thought out comments that reflected her own childhood and what she had learnt about that time through the EA course.
Diane Warger realized her skills as a medical transcriptionist were not as in demand as technology had advanced to replace this need. She researched to find a job and training she would find rewarding and that valued her past learning experience. Diane has been taking classes as a distance education student in Medical Office Administrative Program at Okanagan College. She is positive and motivated, a fabulous example of an adult who is taking charge of changing workplace demands, and is succeeding as a distance education student.
Learning a second language as an adult is extremely challenging. Satwant Kaur moved to Revelstoke from India in 2014 speaking little English. She has been dedicated to attend the weekly beginner ESL class offered in Revelstoke, and to meet with her volunteer ESL tutor. Her tutor Pam reports she is impressed by Satwant’s discipline to study between their tutoring sessions. We have noticed remarkable improvement in Satwant’s English skills. She s always positive and open to new learning opportunities.
Kaitlyn is excellent example of an adult learner who is working to improve her skills in a formal education setting. Currently, she is taking two AACP courses (a heavy load) in addition to working. She is our first ever student to finish both English and math courses on time in the flex class format. She has an excellent attitude towards her studies and always accepts feedback with grace.
Chris has taken several computer classes/workshops at the Seniors Centre since she retired — PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Photoshop, Scanner, and all the CBAL workshops offered over the past four years.
She used her knowledge of PowerPoint to help with the 2009 seniors presentation for Homecoming. Since then, Chris taught many PowerPoint classes — at least two per year from 2009 to 2014. From these classes, Chris arranged for weekly PowerPoint workshops to assist with students with special projects. For more than a year she hosted two workshops per week; recently she is just hosting one.
Chris uses her computer knowledge to tutor others in Beginner Basics, Word, Excel, E-Mail, Windows 8.1, and more. She assists with any issues she feels able to help with and has often said she always learns something while she is teaching.
Chris took it upon herself to learn how to maintain the seniors website. She learned how to update the monthly calendar of events for the Seniors Activity Centre.
She is the ultimate description of an ‘Adult Learner.’ One who is constantly learning and then using that knowledge to help others to learn.
Terina Sessa is always eager to learn new things and this year alone she has read close to 20 short novels. She also attends the RADS program where she participates in volunteer work and various activities throughout the community. She is an inspiration and it is a pleasure getting to know her.