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A Bridge Family

  • A Bridge Family

A Bridge Family

The following blog post was written by Andrea Scholes, a faculty member at the School of Global Access.

Students often feel that they are part of a family during their time in the Bridge program, but for Maryam, Arifa, Wakil and Tayyeb, this is more than a feeling. The two brothers and two sisters who have all enjoyed how the program has helped them and how it continues to do so.

Maryam is just finishing her Academic Upgrading at Bow Valley College, and her siblings are currently in my class at the Advanced Transitions level, the fourth and final level of the Bridge program. 

We sat down to discuss how their time in the Bridge Program has prepared them for their future studies.

Andrea: Maryam, how are you feeling now that they end is in sight for your Academic Upgrading studies?

Maryam: It feels good. I am excited to move forward and work on my plans for a career as a lab technician. I have had this goal for a long time, and I will be applying to SAIT for this two-year program.

Andrea: That’s great and I am happy for you. How did your time in the Bridge program prepare you for Academic Upgrading and how have you been able to encourage your siblings, who came into the program after you?

Maryam: Coming into Bridge in 2015 felt good. It was different from High School. It felt like a family and I made friends with other students. The program levels made learning interesting and fun, and I felt like I moved through these levels quite quickly. 

We always help each other in our family and give support. I tell the others what I am doing in upgrading and tell them they should stay in Bridge as long as they need to because it will help them.

Wakil: I started in the first level of Bridge and I am now in the last level. I left the program for a term and came back, and I am now ready to finish what I started and move on to upgrading. My learning habits have improved, and I am more mature. My career goal used to be a firefighter, but now I am not sure, maybe something in IT.

Tayyeb: I also started in the first level and am now in the last level.  Vocabulary and reading are hard for me and I need to keep improving these things. I work as a pastry chef after class and my job fits with my hours in the program. When I finish upgrading, I want to go to SAIT to do a culinary course.

Andrea: Arifa, you will be starting upgrading next term.  How do you feel about this next step in your studies? Do you feel prepared?

Arifa: Yes, I do. I am excited to keep moving forward. My writing has improved, and I have learned things at each level of the Bridge program. The higher you go, the harder it gets.

Maryam: In upgrading, we don’t get help with things like vocabulary, so I tell my brothers and sister, you have to be ready to be independent and do things by yourself when you leave Bridge. 

In high school, I felt that I couldn’t succeed. I was at the lowest level and just doing ESL, but in Bridge I learned that I could do well. It gave me more confidence to achieve my career goals.

Arifa: My career goal is to be a social worker. I know I will need to work hard for this goal.

Andrea: Well, you are a great example of a family supporting each other and working hard. Any final thoughts from you?

Wakil: I am ready to learn. The weekly readings we do has helped me a lot to learn new words.

Arifa: The weekly vocabulary has improved my writing a lot. I can write much more without making a lot of mistakes.

Tayyeb: Bridge teachers are kind and they are really nice. They work very hard to teach us something new every day.

Maryam: People in Bridge are friendly and it is helpful for newcomers because they will reach their goals faster.

Andrea: Thank you all very much.  It has been great to spend some time with you and hear your comments. Keep up the good work!