The Bridge Program is for immigrant youth ages 18 to 24 with interrupted formal education.
As a Learner Success Officer (LSO), Kirstin Kot plays an integral role in the program by helping to remove barriers to learning. In her role, Kirstin must be skilled at working with culturally diverse populations as she is often the first point of contact when learners have academic, cultural, or personal issues that affect their learning. In these cases, Kirstin helps learners stay in school by addressing the problem before it becomes a crisis. This often involves referring learners to Learner Success Services, counseling, academic advising, and tutoring.
Kirstin also refers learners to external agencies, including the food bank, Calgary Youth Employment, first language counseling at CIWA, and workplace preparation programs offered through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary.
Through contacts at the Calgary Board of Education and Calgary Catholic School District, Kirstin helps develop pathways for Calgary youth and recruits eligible candidates for the Bridge Program.
Bridge learners are given a laptop for the duration of their time in the program. Kirstin ensures that laptops are well maintained, so all learners have equal access to educational technology.
Kirstin also helps arrange the extracurricular activities that are an important feature of Bridge, including tutoring, music, photography, art, drama, and citizenship clubs.