New Dream Come True
This photo marks the start of a new chapter in my life - starting my Master‚Äôs degree in Migration and Diaspora Studies. It also marks the reassurance that no prayer goes unanswered and that all dreams can manifest with Divine Timing.
I arrived in Canada in 2003 from Saint Lucia. Due to the long processes to get back into teaching, I decided then to change my career and chose to work in the Non-Profit Sector, with a focus on contributing towards the the economic integration process for newcomers. However, it was always my dream to go back to university and pursue a Master's Degree. I went back and forth for three years with various universities but each time I felt that I could not fully commit myself to school, while also being a single parent to three young children. So, fifteen years ago, I decided to stop agonizing myself about my indecisiveness and to stay focused on the kids. I decided that I would go back to university when my daughter, the youngest child, completed her university degree. She completed her university degree in August 2020.
I met¬†Wilson Jn Baptiste¬†years later and from day one, he pushed me towards doing my Masters degree. In fact, I completed a Practical Master‚Äôs in Business Management during our first year together. Although we have done many extra ordinary things, he would constantly come back to this Master's Degree. While we were in Rwanda in 2018, we had a huge fight over me not being back at university. I had just turned 50, and in fairness to him, I had also told him that I would have gone back to school at 50. My daughter was supposed to have finished her degree then, but she took a gap year and then changed her courses... so she finished two years later! Anyway, as Wilson and I argued about it that night, I told him, ""Don't worry about it. I will go back to school before I turn 51! I will still be 50.""
His response was ,""Mags, going back to school is a process. You need to apply at least a year ahead of time and you are not doing anything to help you get there!""
But God had it all mapped out for me.
We got back to Canada six months later and I was in a process of transition. I started working on contracts with a very unsettled feeling about what my next steps should be. Two weeks after getting here, I had lunch with a professor from Carleton, whom I had known already through other projects we had worked on. She is an amazing coach and a great listener. She asked about my next steps and I said that my dream is to go back to university. The truth is after being out of school for so long, I was intimated about the process. She said in a very definite voice, ""You can do this.... "" She walked me through the application process to register for one course - Managerial Cognition. A few weeks later, I was sitting in class, alongside 10 other PhD candidates. It was phenomenal and I honestly felt my brain expanded.
I did get into university before 51! When God has a plan for you, no one can take it away.
Professor Nardon became a great coach and mentor for me. She guided me to another course in International Business, which was an eye opener. She always listened carefully to me and had the ability to answer my unasked questions. She also believed in me and that made such a huge difference to my confidence. Until that experience with her, I had never even realized how much I was in need of coaching. Between herself and Wilson, I knew that there was no way I was getting out of continuing on with a Master's degree in something! While I was doing courses as a special student, I had not yet registered for a specific program. The courses were a great way to gently get me into the routine of being back in school. The amount of reading required shocked my system at first but the great thing is that I was genuinely interested in the topics and this kept me motivated.
God further prepared the way for me. As soon as my International Business Course was completed in Dec 2019, she told me that Carlton University would open a new Master‚Äôs program - in Migration and Diaspora Studies. It had my name written on it. I had no doubt that it was the perfect program to bring together my experience of working in immigration. I attended the information session in the Spring and I got into the program for Fall.
I share my life experiences with the genuine feeling to help others to keep faith, believe in the power of their dreams even though it may take a long time. Sometimes, we need an extra push and to have mentors to help guide our paths. Without this little bit of coaching from someone who was more familiar with the process, perhaps I would not have taken decisive action.
I would like to thank my former professor from MICO University College, Dr.¬†Celene Gyles¬† for being a great reference for me and always believing in me from Day 1, when I first entered the gates of MICO in Jamaica. My friend Marina Schavenko, whom I worked with here in Canada was also a reference for me and I am eternally grateful for her professionalism and friendship. I am grateful for Wilson - his unyeilding faith in me to do great things, makes me crazy sometimes, but at the same time, he pushes me to reach for my dreams. t
This is my time now for education. As my kids settle into their own lives and careers, I know that I have paid my dues and they have what it takes to be independent and develop their own careers now. I believe in each one of them. I know that they will support me throughout this process.
It feels so wonderful to be a student again and to have the opportunity to dream new dreams at my age.¬†üôÇ¬†I have had my hardships in life - God knows. But God has always held me in the dark and in the light.
To anyone who feels that their dreams are on hold - please don‚Äôt give up. God hears us. The universe hears our prayers and deepest wishes. Every once in a while, play with the dream... just keep it moving, even if it is only in your mind.
I am grateful for my circle of friends and family who hold the space for me to grow.¬†I am grateful for all the newcomers and newcomer women I have worked with and continue to work with. I do my best to use my own life to help others stretch themselves and take action towards living their dreams - big or small.
Let me know of your goals and dreams. What is holding you back? How can I help you?