For Charleen Stokes, the world was her most valuable education until becoming a student at AU.
Over the past twenty years, Charleen has accrued an impressive amount of travel, having visited 65 countries spanning six continents. Much of her travelling focused on working to help others around the world, from teaching English to humanitarian work and everything in between. Between travel and helping others, Charleen completed a variety of certificates and diplomas in many areas of study.
“I think it’s so important to keep learning as the times and world keep changing. Change is growth, and if we don’t learn to change or embrace it, we don’t grow.”
Charleen’s AU journey began with a desire to use her education and experiences and build upon them to complete a Bachelor in General Studies. After coming back to Canada in 2017 for health reasons, she was still able to plug along with her studies while undergoing four surgeries.
After finishing her program, Charleen attributes AU to changing her outlook on the world. “I look at the world much differently and even when I thought I was acutely aware before, I feel even more so. With all that I have learned, I feel even more eager than before to make a difference in the world. I feel even more confident about all the possibilities available to me in the world as a travelling helping professional.”
“I think differently, talk differently, feel differently—I AM DIFFERENT! I have been majorly transformed—the future looks even brighter.”
It takes a village to complete an education, and Charleen credits those who have been hugely inspirational to her, her beloved who always pushed—with love and respect, to return to school, her reverend friend and “brother,” as well as Sharon Matthews, Education Coordinator at Old Massett Village Council.
Words of wisdom
As Charleen moves onto her next chapter—starting her masters and relocating to the Middle East to be closer to her loved ones—she passes on some of her best advice to those beginning their journeys. She notes that you’re “never too old to learn” and that we are “all students and teachers in LIFE 101.”