How NorQuest helped them discover their potential.
NorQuest students (and the women on the billboards) Tiffany Brochu (left) and Faadumo Axmed Maxamed (right)
NorQuest College’s workforce-ready graduates can be found almost everywhere in our community. For two current NorQuest students, this is especially true – if you know where to look.
NorQuest recently featured students Faadumo Axmed Maxamed and Tiffany Brochu in the fall 2012 recruitment campaign for Edmonton and area. Look for their photos on billboards, bus shelters, public transit and in print publications. Both say they are happy to represent the College.
“I am proud of the photo,” says Faadumo, 23, who notes how much her English has improved since first coming to NorQuest last year. She is currently taking ESL and academic upgrading at the Edmonton Downtown Campus.
For Tiffany, 32, the marketing campaign featuring her photo represents another chapter in her extensive involvement with, and commitment to, NorQuest College. “NorQuest has really helped me discover my potential,” she says. Tiffany started at NorQuest in academic upgrading and is currently completing the College’s Practical Nurse diploma program.
While both women are looking forward to careers in health care, their respective paths to NorQuest College and Canada are quite different.
Faadumo fled her native Somalia more than three years ago and spent a year in a Turkish refugee camp before coming to Canada. She now embraces Edmonton as home, but not without facing challenges along the way. These challenges have ranged from being a stranger in a strange land, having left her entire family behind in Somalia, through to learning to understand English sentences as simple as “What is your name?”
Faadumo in front of the billboard ad featuring her.
After enrolling in NorQuest’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program, Faadumo soon discovered new friendships at the College’s Westmount Campus. “Westmount has a strong community,” she says, “but downtown is a bit different. Downtown, everyone is very busy, going to class and completing assignments. But it’s good because many of my friends from Westmount are now studying downtown.”
Beyond her classroom commitments in the PN program, Tiffany is a fixture at the Downtown Campus through her involvement with NorQuest’s Students’ Association, Academic Council and as the student representative on the College’s Board of Governors. She also represents NorQuest's students on the Alberta Students' Executive Council.
Tiffany in front of the bus shelter ad featuring her. Photo taken by her 8 year old son.
In addition to being married and raising a child, Tiffany says juggling so many responsibilities can be challenging.
“When I first started at NorQuest, I had no idea I would become this involved or maintain this level of commitment,” she says. “But I’m not afraid to ask questions, which is probably something people see in me.”
Born in Vietnam, Tiffany and her family emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Houston when she was 11. America’s fourth-largest city was definitely home until she took a fateful trip to Las Vegas and met her future husband. After Tiffany and her son joined him in Edmonton, she started looking at post-secondary options.
“Even before I moved here, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. The humanity is what really draws me to the profession,” she recalls. “Once I completed my academic upgrading at NorQuest, I considered taking a registered nurse program at another post-secondary.
“But I really enjoyed my time at NorQuest. The instructors made a big impact on me and I liked all of the resources and opportunities the College created for students. I like that you can start with academic upgrading and work your way through to a career program.”
Tiffany is looking forward to entering the workforce as a licensed practical nurse and will eventually consider returning to school for a registered nurse program. Faadumo says she’ll be applying to NorQuest’s HCA program once her foundational programs are completed.
While they’re both proud to publicly represent NorQuest through marketing campaigns, they’re also happy about the examples they help set. For Tiffany, establishing the importance of a strong work ethic is a lesson for her son. For Faadumo, she’s happy to share her achievement and represent her community.
“Many people look at the NorQuest ads with me because I am wearing a hijab. Some people say it’s great, because I am representing Muslim women and Somali people. I feel happy about it.”