In the Jumpstart program presentation I got to listen to two different presenters, and how being a part of the jumpstart program changed their lives. We heard from Randi, the Jumpstart coordinator, and Curtis, a teacher who is a part of the program.
The presenters shared their past stories and how they got involved with the Jumpstart Program in hopes to relate to others in the room.
Randi was always a big athlete. During her childhood and into high school she played many sports including softball. Her goal was to play at the college level. She then decided to go into kinesiology instead. In the end she decided to become a teacher with the Jumpstart Program. During Randi’s presentation she said: “Don’t be afraid to meet someone along the way.” She talked about how meeting new people gave her new connections for the future. That made me think of how important first impressions are, and how important the way you represent yourself to people you meet along the way is, because it can make a huge impact on your life depending on the kind of person you are and how you represent yourself.
Curtis grew up in Saskatoon in a single parent home on the edge of poverty. His mother worked two jobs to feed her three children. Curtis said his education (in the beginning) wasn’t important compared to survival. He said that he and his family were more devoted to making next month’s rent, and making sure there was food on the table, rather than grades. Curtis stated that he had never even thought about university. In the end Curtis found his way with the Jumpstart Program. “Find your culture.” Curtis said. He went on to talk about how much his culture made a difference in his life, how it sparked that fire of learning and success. “There’s so many barriers. Education is the way to escape that.” Curtis said when ending his presentation.
Curtis taught us two words that are a part of indigenous principles, Wankotowin and Mino-Bimaadiziwin. Mino-Bimaadiziwin means the good life, and Wankotowin means we are all related. Curtis talked about how we are all a part of something. Indigenous principles never segregated people for their customs, culture, or religion, they also never grouped us in with family trees, DNA, or the colour of our skin. They state only one powerful phrase.
The most memorable moment in this presentation was after Curtis told his story about all the poverty and problems that he overcame. He told us he will soon be able to go to New Zealand to educate people there on indigenous culture. For me it represented the phrase “The sky is the limit.” And how even after all his hardships he has something he can be really proud of! Curtis and Randi’s experiences taught me to never give up, as cheesy as that sounds. They also taught me that if you put in the effort, you can be anything you want to be!
By: DANIELLE KERR