It was a message of inspiration and hope that First Nation speaker, Janelle-Dobson-Kocsis recently brought to interested students, teachers and parents at Brooks Secondary School and Tla'amin's Celebration of Success.
Detailing early childhood experiences fraught with barriers and learning challenges, Dobson-Kocsis outlined how she overcame racism and a lack of confidence to achieve her dream job of becoming a Psychiatric nurse. Told that she should stop studying math in grade 8 because she wasn't very good at it, Dobson Kocsis persevered with low marks and barely graduated from high school. Being passionate about wanting to study psychology and aboriginal mental health issues motivated Dobson-Kocsis to continue with her educational plans despite numerous academic setbacks.
As part of SFU's Aboriginal Pre Health Bridging Program, Dobson-Kocsis was fortunate to be mentored by a gifted mathematics professor; Dr. Veselin Jungic, who exercised patience during his math lessons and instilled hope by building confidence.
"I learned to be patient with myself and to be my number one cheerleader. A key point in my educational journey was learning that I was a kinesthetic learner and how I could accommodate that."
Dobson-Kocsis went on further to explain that students shouldn't be discouraged by bumps in the road of their educational journeys, and how it is possible to grow from all your experiences even if they are negative ones. "We are all different, be confident in your abilities in spite of what other people might say. Learn from your mistakes and grow from it."
Dobson-Kocsis recently graduated from Douglas College with a Psychiatric Nursing Diploma and hopes to start working with aboriginal people with mental health issues shortly. For the record, Janelle-Dobson Kocsis scored 100% on all her math quizzes during her Psychiatric Nursing Program at Douglas College!
Thanks to Tla'amin Nation and School District 47 (Brooks Secondary School) for funding this exemplary role model for our children and youth
You can read a copy of her Transcript here