When you’re 14 years old and your father passes away, it’s hard to imagine what’s next in your life. It’s the type of life event that could easily make you hit pause. Amy Bousquet did exactly the opposite. She hit go.
“I remember going to Career Trek, in like 2005 or 2006, I went every Saturday – I wasn’t involved in music or sports, but I did Career Trek after school,” she said.
She remembers a specific teacher, Ms. Frost, who helped her connect with Career Trek.
“For some reason I remember my mom joining the dental hygiene lesson – I’m not sure why I remember that one, but I do,” she continued to explain that they had to brush their model teeth and then use a black light to see how well (or not) they had done.
She decided that she wanted to work in healthcare. She doesn’t know if Career Trek gave her the idea of healthcare, but it was important in her journey.
“Being able to go to the places [campuses], even just having the exposure of what university is, that it’s not this scary place,” Amy said.
Amy said that her dad dealt with mental health concerns before he passed and knew I wanted to be in the medical field. Amy started at Brandon University, Winnipeg campus, in 2013 and spent five years working towards her Psychiatric Nursing degree. She now works as a nurse in her field.
“It’s a really cool job, it’s tough, but it’s so rewarding,” Amy said.
“When people first come in they’re at their bottom, but, when they leave they’re well and happy and have things to look forward to and it’s like ‘wow, I was a part of that.'”
“I think it was Ms. Frost who really encouraged me,” Amy said. Ms. Frost encouraged Amy to participate in Career Trek, work with Community School Investigators to help kids learn over the summer, and continues to be important in Amy’s life 15 years later.
“I grew up in a space that wasn’t always great. My parents loved me, but it wasn’t always easy – and Ms. Frost was always there. She believed in me and got me involved in all of these things because she knew I would be successful,” Amy said.
We asked Amy what advice she would give future Career Trekkers.
“It sucks to give up your Saturdays, but it’s worth it! I think it’s so important to involve young people in these kinds of things, and to get them started [in their career development plan] early,” she said.