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Finding your stride – Amber Hartlin’s NSCC journey

Photo of Amber Hartlin

Taking the leap

Navigating education and career is an experience unique to everyone. The journey may seem intimidating at first, but we continue to see NSCC students who take the leap of faith, students like Amber Hartlin.

Amber is a mature student in NSCC’s Adult Learning Program (ALP) at Akerley Campus working to finish her high school diploma. After leaving high school to work full-time, Amber worked in retail for almost a decade before deciding to return to school and follow in her grandmother’s footsteps to become a nurse.

When returning to school, Amber immediately felt a difference at NSCC compared to her high school experience. “The teachers genuinely care about the people in their classes and not even just the teachers, but all staff and faculty in general,” said Amber. “You walk into Akerley Campus, and everyone is happy to be there, you can feel that everyone who is there wants to be there.”

Discovering potential

Prior to NSCC, Amber faced academic difficulties, especially with math. While anxious about how it would be this time around, NSCC was quick to support her learning. “They were just so on board and ready to help me figure out what was making it so hard for me to succeed,” said Amber. Through the help of faculty and staff, she received an ADHD diagnosis, helping her gain a better understanding of her unique learning style. Armed with the support of NSCC and her determination to push forward, Amber has a new-found confidence in herself and academics.

“I have confidence about myself that I never had before, and that is just from NSCC supporting me and helping me see that,” said Amber. “It was never really an issue with myself. It was more so a difference in the way that schooling was structured, and I had to somehow fit myself into that. But NSCC has that flexibility and desire to help you be the person that you are.”

Overcoming financial barriers

While Amber is thriving in her return to school, she still faced financial barriers to education that almost deferred her from her path. She was struggling to afford food and reached out to her math teacher, Nancy Harvey, and ALP Counsellor, Christy MacArthur, who advised her on how to access the support she needed.

Amber received an Emergency Cost of Living Bursary, funded by donors to Rapid Response, which helped relieve some of her financial stress. “Having access to that money and putting food on my table helped me start and get through the day,” said Amber. “It saved me from having to leave school and pick it up at a later date.”

This sense of relief gave Amber the space to refocus on her studies, helping her complete projects for multiple classes without the stress of wondering how to afford food or if she should take extra shifts at work.

Donor appreciation

Now in her last year of ALP, Amber is optimistic about continuing her studies to become a nurse. She is grateful for Rapid Response donors for supporting her journey. “I don't think there are enough thanks that I can give to people who donate money towards helping students like me. Because even if you may not look at it as like some big, over-the-top, life-changing thing, it is for someone like me.”

Show your support, make a lifelong impact

Your help goes further than you think. Support NSCC students like Amber today by donating to Rapid Response.

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