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A year after Madeline’s abusive partner cost her her job as an early childhood educator, she’s on a new path thanks to courses she accessed with help from Contact North | Contact Nord.
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Online Learning Centre
Area of Study
Personal Support Worker
All 24 of Ontario’s public colleges are now accepting applications for a new, innovative accelerated training program for personal support workers (PSWs).
With $115 million in funding, the innovative, tuition-free program will train up to 8,200 new PSWs in just six months to prepare them for high-demand jobs in health and long-term care.
As one of the largest-ever PSW recruitment drives in this province, it is expected to help fill the demand for PSWs in long-term care and other healthcare settings during COVID-19 and beyond.
For support navigating online study options please contact us:
As a certified early childhood educator in southern Ontario, Madeline* had held a steady job for years. But when her partner kept harassing her at work — and she was let go because her employer feared for the safety of the children under their care — Madeline was afraid she’d be locked out of the job market for good.
“Nobody should ever give up. If you ever think you’re too old to go back to school, you’re not. It’s only you who can change you.”
Being an ECE was all she knew.
“I tried many times to get a job in the same field but they all went back to my old employer,” Madeline says. “It’s a small community and everybody knew everybody. My story went to the next person and the next person. I just kind of gave up.”
When employment insurance ran out, Madeline turned to Ontario Works so she could provide for her daughter.
Then she found the courage to leave her abuser behind.
“I finally said ‘enough is enough,’ she recalls. “I had to put my daughter and myself first. My new outlook was out with the negativity and in with the positivity.”
Fast forward a year, and with support from Contact North | Contact Nord, Madeline has completed multiple courses — most at no cost — to pursue a career as a personal support worker.
With those courses under her belt, she’s been accepted to a special training program where she’ll receive her PSW certification through SE Career College of Health.
She believes it’s the online courses she enrolled in with Contact North | Contact Nord’s help that got her foot in the door.
“VON (the Victoria Order of Nurses) is paying me to go to school and when I’m done in May, I’ll go straight to work for VON,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it without Contact North. I’m really blessed. Even to this day, Contact North still keeps in touch and asks me how I’m doing.”
Madeline hopes her story will inspire other would-be learners to pursue their dreams.
“My experience with Contact North has been amazing. I don’t like asking for help. But when I finally did, it was like ‘oh my God, there’s actually so many resources out there to help.”
“Nobody should ever give up,” she says. “If you ever think you’re too old to go back to school, you’re not. It’s only you who can change you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Never give up on your dreams. The only person who can better you is you.
“The reason I didn’t give up was because I always tell my daughter nothing’s ever impossible. That’s one of my favourite quotes. If I’m saying I can’t get a job or I can’t go to school, what am I showing her? You’re never too old. If you have a dream and you want to do something, go do it.
“My experience with Contact North has been amazing,” Madeline adds. “I don’t like asking for help. But when I finally did, it was like ‘oh my God, there’s actually so many resources out there to help.’ Laura (Ellis, a Contact North | Contact Nord online recruitment officer) was wonderful. It was so easy to talk to her. Usually I’m shy and I don’t like to tell everybody my story. She made me so comfortable. It was so amazing to have that connection.”
* Name changed to protect privacy.