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Fort Nelson students honoured at Convocation ceremonies

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The graduating class gathered for the traditional group photo prior to Convocation ceremonies at the Dawson Creek Campus.

FORT NELSON – More than 25 students at the Fort Nelson Campus of Northern Lights College were recognized on June 13 during Convocation ceremonies held at the Phoenix Theatre.

Students in nine programs were honoured through the conferral of certificates and diplomas. As well, Andrea Osbourne, a graduate of the Applied Business Technology (ABT) program, was named the Valedictorian.


In her address to the graduates, Osbourne talked about starting at NLC as a 17-year-old and having a number of concerns, but soon realizing that each of her fellow students faced unique challenges.

“We are here because of goals and dreams that have pushed us to accomplish all things,” Osbourne said. “You can do anything. You can try and you can fail, but don’t give up. You can’t measure success in dollar bills.”

Allison Tubman was the keynote speaker. Tubman is also an ABT graduate (2006) who recently finished writing a book about her family, The McDonalds: The Lives & Legends of a Kaska Dena Family.

Tubman talked about writing a paper about her family, and then participating in various local presentations where she displayed information on her family’s history. The impetus for her book was to ensure her family’s history was recorded, and her New Year’s resolution in 2013 was to complete the project. The book was launched in April.

“The feeling of accomplishment of opening that brand new book was worth all the late nights,” said Tubman, who provided the following advice to the graduates. “Don’t be afraid to take those first steps to make your dreams into a reality.”

Other dignitaries in attendance included: Bill Streeper, mayor of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality; Sharon Miller, NLC Board of Governors; and Laurie Rancourt, President, NLC.

In addition to the presentation of credentials to the graduates, a number of students at the Fort Nelson Campus were recognized with awards, bursaries and scholarships. Awards were presented to the following students:

· Shelley Owchar (NLC Student Association and Council Award, Finning Canada Award, M. Keith Lutsiak Business Management Award)

· Kristiana Bailey (Devon Canada Corporation Aboriginal Award, Dominion Energy Canada Ltd Award – Aboriginal, Credit Union Foundation of BC Lucille Sutherland Award)

· Kiran Waughtal (Northern Institute for Resource Studies Award, Duncan MacRae Endowment Fund, Western Financial Award)

· Angela Knott (Paul Dampier Community Commitment Award, Conoco Phillips Canada Award, Fort Nelson Rotary Club Award)

· Nikita Harnum (Fort Nelson Campus Staff and Alumni Award, Martha Neilson Award, Vancouver Foundation Bursary)

· Brynn Belfour (NLC Student Association and Council Award, Paul Dampier Student Leadership Award)

· Luisa Pena (Pacific Northern Gas Northeast Award, Vancouver Foundation Bursary)

· Brandy Maillet (Vancouver Foundation Bursary, Fort Nelson First Nation Award)

· Curtis Dan (Nikki MacDonald Memorial Award, James Keeler Memorial Award)

· Shelly Thomas (Vancouver Foundation Bursary)

· Tara Sorken (Vancouver Foundation Bursary)

· Melanie Capot-Blanc (Eh Cho Dene Enterprises Award)

· Andrea Osbourne (M. Keith Lutsiak Business Management Award)

· Nicole Stager (James Keeler Memorial Award)

· Sharon Sopel (Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Award)