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"Helping Children and their Families Grow"

Roxanne Calahasinʼs NLC Success Story

Roxanne Calahasin always wanted to be a teacher, and once she had her own children, she truly understood the importance of providing exceptional care and education to young children.

Seeing the need for early learning educators, she enrolled in the Early Learning and Child Care Certificate and Diploma programs at Northern Lakes College.

“I realized young children need us, and the need for quality care and education starts where all learning begins—in early childhood. Our society tends to overlook this part of a child’s life, but it’s so crucial,” said Roxanne. “It’s great to provide program assistance to all kids, but I believe it’s especially important in our Indigenous communities right now.”

As a Cree woman living in the Gift Lake Métis Settlement, Roxanne has always been an advocate for supporting Indigenous families and preserving traditional culture—values she credits her grandparents for instilling.

“They taught us the language and our culture,” said Roxanne.

Armed with the wisdom of her grandparents; the support of her family, friends and co-workers—as well as with the education she received from NLC, Roxanne now supports her own community in her chosen career.

Roxanne is the director of the Gift Lake Head Start Program, an early learning and child care program that fosters family involvement and reflects Cree culture.

With the help of community members, Roxanne personally selects mindfully-curated materials and décor, so she can facilitate activities based on the tenets of early learning and traditional skills, such as sewing cultural clothing, beading and gardening.

“We’re helping children and their families grow. We’re helping children learn. They are learning while they’re playing and having fun,” said Roxanne.

Roxanne values helping students and expresses gratitude for the Northern Lakes College instructors who supported her.

“The instructors know so much! I just loved the instructors. Every single one made me feel confident working with them. They are so caring too,” said Roxanne. “They realize everyone has a home life, and they are very understanding. It felt like being part of a big family.”

Roxanne continues to attend Northern Lakes College and is pursuing her Bachelor of Education.

Northern Lakes College offers many programs through Supported Distance Learning.

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