At 50 years of age, Betty-Ann Whitton found herself unemployed and with no career goals. Through the collaborative partnership between the Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centre in Georgina and Job Skills in Keswick, she registered in Loyalist College’s online Office Administration: Medical Services Diploma program, which put her back on track.
“I did some career counselling with Job Skills and then came to Contact North because I wanted to take the program online,” Betty-Ann explained. Betty-Ann worked for the same company for the past 25 years and when she was laid off, she took some time to consider her next step.
She was aware of online learning from family members and needed the flexibility and convenience with her family responsibilities. She had elderly parents to care for and a son still in high school. But, she was still scared of heading back to school at her age; it had been a long time since she was in class.
Betty-Ann obtained support through the Second Career program, which helped her financially. She established a routine of going to the online learning centre and attending her classes using Contact North | Contact Nord’s web conferencing platform. Coming to the online learning centre every day allowed her to be more productive and make friends with other students studying at the centre. “It was comforting to know I wasn’t alone,” she admitted.
To support her studies, she volunteered at the Southlake Regional Health Centre, adding to the value of studying in her own community and making connections with organizations where she could potentially find work.
She completed the diploma in one year, without having to leave Newmarket, and got back into the workforce, this time in a whole new career.