This year, AU Learner Danielle Annand will be celebrating convocation as a graduate of the University Certificate in Counselling Women program.
A proud Mi’kmaq woman, wife, and mother of three children from Lennox Island First Nation, Prince Edward Island, Annandworks as the Shelter Coordinator of the Chief Mary Bernard Memorial Women’s Shelter. The Shelter provides services and support to women and children experiencing violence and/or homelessness.
Seven years ago, Annand’s employer at the time asked her to submit an educational plan/proposal outlining an area of study that was closely related to work at the time.
“I have always had a passion for helping others and I wanted to refine my counselling skills. So, I did some research about online courses and found myself on Athabasca University’s website looking at the University Certificate in Counselling Women – it fit in perfectly with my work!”
Her employer approved, and one week later, Annand was enrolled in AU as a learner.
Experiences at AU
Annand admits that she found the self-led, online format of AU to be a challenge, but the support of her family and her employer gave her the push she needed to complete her certificate.
“I really had to learn how to navigate being a student while working full-time. I am a textbook procrastinator, so it was challenging to find balance between my home, educational, social, and professional lives.”
The benefits of lifelong learning
“Lifelong learning is extremely important because our world is constantly changing and evolving! My field of work in family violence prevention keeps me on my toes and it is imperative that I am up to date on all the research, training, and new developments in this field so that I can deliver the highest standard of services and supports to my clients.”
Annand has recently taken a new part-time position as the new Addictions Lead of Lennox Island’s Addictions Program. The counselling education that she received from Athabasca University will serve her well in providing one-on-one support to those struggling with addiction.
“I certainly plan to continue to help others heal and reach their greatest potential!”– Danielle Annand
With her certificate in hand, Annand will continue to provide for others in the future, and that future is bright.