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Finding empowerment in education

Selfie of Sherri Butler wearing a black shirt.
Sherri Butler, two-time alumna and Health & Disability Coordinator with NSCC.

When Sherri Butler (Business Information Technology ’99, Office Administration ‘00) became a young single mother, she knew she needed to make some big changes to secure her son’s future.

Sherri worked various minimum wage jobs immediately after high school, as life circumstances had her living on her own at 18. After a brief period away, Sherri moved back to Nova Scotia with her son to be closer to her friends and family.

“When I first arrived, I was on provincial income assistance. It was my friend that encouraged me to go back to school as I couldn’t support my son without education and skills,” says Sherri. “Her husband was a grad from NSCC, and he recommended I apply."

“Registering for a one-year certificate program at Bell Road Campus was a game changer. I was a young single mom who realized I needed to do more to raise my son,” says Sherri.

Becoming empowered

Sherri was still feeling nervous about her decision when she enrolled at NSCC, but knew she was in the right place after completing her first diploma.

“Taking the program wasn’t only a path to education, it was an esteem builder that allowed me to see I had what it takes to be successful,” says Sherri.

“The defining moment was after my first year and seeing that I can be a mom and go to school full time and still manage to complete the course very successfully.”

Feeling empowered, Sherri enrolled in another program and finished her second diploma in 2000.

Sherri was the first in her family to achieve a postsecondary education.

“There were times while growing up where we experienced poverty and life was not easy for my family. Once I had my son, I knew I needed to give him something different than what I experienced.”

Landing a career

Following graduation, Sherri secured a job where she could afford to live on her own and have her son in daycare while she worked.

“I was off provincial income assistance within the year I graduated. I was employed at a full-time job working in a non-profit agency,” says Sherri.

Sherri had a full-circle moment when she gained employment with NSCC a few years later, and has grown in her career at the College ever since.

“To look back at 1999 to where I am now, life has treated me good and NSCC has been an influencer,” says Sherri. “I will tell anyone I know consider NSCC for their education you will get way more than you realize.”