Finding a home.
Genevier Sullivan, Arts and Science (General) student
Genevier Sullivan grew up hungry. Raised in the constantly changing environment of foster care, she suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She says that while the outlook has traditionally not been good for people (particularly Aboriginal people like herself) who leave the foster care system at age 19, the key is to: “reach out and don’t stop reaching out until you get what you need.”
Genevier says she came to Langara not only because of the many pathways to health careers, but because of the supports available to her, including the Youth in Care bursary that covers tuition and other fees.
“All I’ve ever had is strangers. I’m so inspired and thankful that donors – people who don’t even know me – have considered the case of students who grew up in care and have given generously. They have changed my life.”
Genevier, who speaks openly at mental health summits about her challenges and how it can affect learning, says she is also grateful for Langara’s integrated student services and the support of faculty. With a 3.3 GPA and an amazing memory, she says that she has learned how to manage.
“Instructors here understand that work ethic is not my challenge. They have made it possible for me to succeed and I’ve gone farther here than anywhere else. I’m at home here.”
Beyond expressing gratitude, Genevier is also giving back by leading nutrition workshops in shelters and drop-in centres.
“I know that being given a dollar on the street can inspire you to go great lengths. I really want to be on the helping side. It’s about the ripple effects that helping others creates. It makes a better world.”
Genevier plans to take the Dietetics program at UBC and create her own ripples by sharing her knowledge of nutrient-rich food and working to bring food security to those in need.
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Posted on: March 6, 2018