Never too late

Cor­rina Smith re­al­izes goal of be­ing a mom and com­plet­ing a post-sec­ondary pro­gram

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY COLIN FAR­RELL BURIN, N.L. Colin.far­rell@south­erngazette.ca

Cor­rina Smith of Red Har­bour was all smiles on Wed­nes­day, May 30, as she re­al­ized a goal she set out for her­self two years prior.

Smith, who is orig­i­nally from Clarenville but moved to the Burin Penin­sula in 2012, was one of the three stu­dents to grad­u­ate the of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tion ex­ec­u­tive pro­gram of­fered at the Col­lege of the North At­lantic cam­pus in Burin.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to do that,” she said of the pro­gram, “I ac­tu­ally started to do the busi­ness course a few years ago, but it wasn’t what I wanted,” she said.

Smith de­cided it was time for her to re­turn to school two years ago.

“I’m a lit­tle bit older than the peo­ple I went to school with,” she said with a laugh.

Her two chil­dren, 14 and eight, were her mo­ti­va­tion for pur­su­ing a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.

“I just wanted to be a bet­ter role model for them,” she said.

Smith told The South­ern Gazette her chil­dren sup­ported her de­ci­sion to re­turn to school.

“Even at their age they un­der­stood, (me need­ing) the ex­tra time to come home and do the school work, and they tell me that every step of the way.”

Smith said there were some chal­lenges to over­come when she re­turned to school.

“Def­i­nitely the time re­straints,” she said. “My hus­band was away work­ing at the time, so it was just my­self and my daugh­ter so I used to find it hard to get home, get her sit­u­ated for bed, get her to bed and then I would be up my­self till prob­a­bly 1-2 o’clock in the morn­ing to study and then you’re tired the next day.”

She de­vel­oped a time sched­ule to help.

“I just did what I had to do,” said Smith. “I seen the chal­lenge, I knew what I had to do to fix it and I just did it.”

Smith was the vale­dic­to­rian for the grad­u­at­ing class.

“I was blown away,” she com­mented on re­ceiv­ing the hon­our.

Smith noted that af­ter com­plet­ing her work term through the pro­gram she was hired by Mario Walsh Me­chan­i­cal Ser­vices LTD.

“I worked re­ally hard to do what I did,” she said, “and to my kids, it’s not only did I go to school but I fol­lowed it through to a job.”

To peo­ple fac­ing a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion Smith had the fol­low­ing ad­vice.

“Just do it,” she said. “Don’t be scared that you’re go­ing to be the old­est per­son in the class room, cause I was (scared) on my first day.”

She said with a laugh the en­tire drive from her home in Red Har­bour to the cam­pus in Burin she was “a bag of nerves” telling her­self she would be the old­est, “but I wasn’t.”

COLIN FAR­RELL/THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

Cor­rina Smith en­cour­ages oth­ers look­ing to re­turn to school to go for it.

Jan­ice Moul­ton, cam­pus di­rec­tor, (left) presents Cor­rina Smith with her Vale­dic­to­rian Award.

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