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Gloria Salamanca Rios

Community Support Worker

Coming together to create healthy communities

If it takes a village to raise a child, then finding the funds to put that child through post-secondary should be a community affair.

Thanks to NorQuest College’s great community partners, there is truth in that statement. Without the generosity of donors who believe in the college’s ability to transform lives, many students would be left behind.

“To all those people, I say thank you for taking the time and investing your money to help the students of NorQuest College,” says 2016 Community Support Worker (CSW) graduate Gloria Salamanca Rios, recipient of the 2016 Alberta Blue Cross 50th Anniversary Award. “Every day there are new students who have so many different challenges. The support of people and businesses gives us motivation and encourages us to keep working hard so we can look forward to the future.”

Born in Colombia and living in Alberta since 2014, the 26-year-old came to NorQuest College already possessing a degree in sociology. After conducting her own online research, she discovered that the college’s CSW program could give her what her sociology degree couldn’t.

“When I moved here I was looking for something that I could specialize in helping the immigrant community. I came across a page about NorQuest College and I saw that they were providing a new program where you could specialize in one of four areas, and one of the areas was new immigrants.”

With that knowledge in hand, she applied and was accepted into the CSW program. She especially liked that it offered a practicum where real world experience could be gained. The practicum, however, came with a fee. This is where the support she received from Alberta Blue Cross helped the most.

“It came at the perfect time because I was able to cover the fees. In the months before I was really stressing about how I was going to pay for this but thanks to the award I was very relieved. I was able to fully concentrate on my studies.”

To all those people, I say thank you. Every day there are new students who have so many different challenges. The support of people and businesses gives us motivation and encourages us to keep working hard so we can look forward to the future.