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Calling all social service workers
Let Contact North | Contact Nord be your frontline support
As Ontario’s community-based bilingual distance education and training network, we help underserved residents in 1,300+ small, rural, remote, Indigenous and Francophone communities by providing access to education and training without leaving their communities.
For support navigating online study options please contact us:
With a background in graphic design, Anne Holmes knew her skills were dated and she’d need to upgrade if she wanted to stay afloat.
But like most people, Anne’s plans were thrown into disarray by the pandemic. And when she found herself without a job, needing to pay the rent and not sure where to turn, she realized her passion wasn’t for graphic arts at all.
After a lot of soul searching, Anne, 56, set her sights instead on a career that would allow her to help others.
“I’m here a little bit late in the game as far as age goes but I’m challenging that whole ageism issue.”
Support from the Second Career program and a referral to Contact North | Contact Nord made all the difference.
“The lovely lady at Contact North guided me, talked with me a lot as to what I wanted to do and where I saw myself,” Anne says. “It took a while. It’s hard at my age to think about what I wanted to start out again in. Engaging in conversation I narrowed it down to, ‘I always liked to help people but it would be nice to be educated in it and get paid for it and decide where I wanted my niche to be.’”
Fast forward a year or so, and Anne has just started the second year of her two-year Social Service Worker diploma at Northern College. She is also the recipient of a bursary, which was a very welcome surprise.
“I have my head focused on the finishing point,” Anne says. “This semester is going to be very intense. I’m really looking forward to doing my field placement. What keeps me going is the fact that it’s only a short time and I have to give it my all. I’m completely focused on school. I’m here a little bit late in the game as far as age goes but I’m challenging that whole ageism issue.
“If you’re really passionate, you find a way. If you’re really, really keen, throw your hat into the ring and put the work in and it will pay off for you. It paid off completely for me.”
Anne urges others who are considering making the leap to online learning to look at “something completely different, out of the realm of your thinking.”
“It’s completely do-able,” she says. “We live in a great country that makes things possible for us. We just have to tap into that.”