UGDSB pathways planning at work – a student’s co-op leads to career

June 21, 2019

GUELPH, Ontario – A former Upper Grand District School Board student credits her pathways planning and co-op placement when she was in school for helping her start her career.

Nicole graduated from Guelph CVI in 2016 and says that her co-op and experience with the Special High Skills Major program (SHSM) played prominent roles in her achieving her career goals.

During her time at GCVI, Nicole completed three different co-op placements to prepare her for her career in firefighting.

UGDSB emergency services community partners often tell students that a great way to prepare for a career in emergency services is to gain experience working with the elderly and children. Because of this advice, Nicole did one co-op placement as an in-school mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and one in recreation at Schlegel Villages Riverside Glen.

In addition, she worked to complete the requirements of a SHSM in Health and Wellness, including First Aid/CPR, which helped prepare her for this career as well. She then did her final co-op placement with the Guelph Fire Department.

Since completing secondary school, Nicole has been working hard to get into the profession, working multiple jobs, maintaining the high level of physical fitness required, and volunteering with four different fire departments in Ontario.

Nicole recently won the For Youth Initiative – FESTI Scholarship. FESTI is the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute – Canada’s Premiere Fire Training College. Students are trained as part of an auxiliary force at Pearson International Airport. She will earn her NFPA 1001 Level I – II FIREFIGHTER TRAINING PROGRAM.

Earlier this year, Nicole was hired by Guelph Eramosa Fire Department as an on-call firefighter. The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association also hired her for a summer position.

For more information about the UGDSB SHSM program, visit the SHSM website.

For more information about career pathways, visit the board website.

Firefighting pathways poster

Breanne Williamson

Admin Off Asst School/Career