Please join us in congratulating Tara-Ann Noel as being SHLC’s September Learner of the Month.
Tara-Ann was nominated by her mentor, Jaclyne. Here is an excerpt of what Jaclyne submitted to us about Tara-Ann.
Tara-Ann is an inspirational life-long learner and caregiver. Tara-Ann started with GLA in May 2021 with the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre (HRIC) group to prepare herself with the proper digital skills for school so that she was ready to take her upcoming college courses.
Tara-Ann is an independent, friendly, and motivated life-long learner who loves to stay in contact and keep me updated on her studies. In live classes, she is always participating and asking questions while supporting the other learners as best as she can.
On top of her studies at GLA, Tara-Ann has been caring for her baby girl, unpacking and organizing her new apartment, working on her beading projects, learning how to Code, and, as of September, attending Mohawk College as a mature student. She has told me that the courses and classes that she has taken (and is taking) have helped her move towards her post-secondary school goal: Mohawk College’s Indigenous Studies Pathway.
Tara-Ann deserves to be a learner of the month because she’s shown me that with perseverance, a passion to learn, and a strong desire to make a difference in the world, anything is possible.
We were so thrilled to learn all these great attributes about Tara-Ann that we decided to ask Tara-Ann some questions so we could share more about her story with you.
How did you first hear about online learning with Good Learning Anywhere?
I had the opportunity to take a Digital Skills course with GLA, through an Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound program, for Indigenous single mothers. This opened the door to so many more learning opportunities through GLA.
Did you have any struggles during your learning? If so, how did you overcome them?
Time Management has always been a struggle of mine, with the addition of a baby in my life, this became even more challenging. I am also a perfectionist, so getting out of my own way was something I have to be mindful of. To mitigate these challenges, I keep an open line of communication with my mentor and instructors. I instill learning and time management tools, such as the Pomodoro Technique – blocking out portions of time to complete specific tasks, while giving myself much-needed breaks along the way. I make an effort to open my courses everyday. With my full-time college studies revving up, that has been more challenging so I gave myself leeway to open the courses several times a week instead.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting to improve their skills?
I have not been perfect with my strategies, however, the absolute most important factor is to never give up on yourself and to just keep trying little bit by little bit. Give yourself room to learn and grow, even if it takes longer than you think it should. There are some statistics out there that say we actually take twice as long to complete something than we originally thought, so a good rule is to always give yourself twice as much time as you think you need to complete an assignment or a module or a quiz, etc. Or to simply learn a new skill – especially as we get older.
What is your greatest achievement? Or what accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of this time in my life, right now. This time of continuing my studies, while raising a baby, and taking so many steps to improve our lives. I am proud of my ability to be flexible and adapt during such strange and ever-changing times. I am autistic, so all of these are big asks for my mind to tolerate and manage. I feel a strong sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I have done so well thus far, to create a promising future for my daughter and me.
What are your goals for the future?
I am currently enrolled in a University Transfer Pathway at Mohawk College, so the next step is to graduate, meeting all of the requirements for transfer into the third year of a bachelor’s degree, which I am going to upgrade to a combined bachelor’s degree through my selection of elective courses. Over the next five years, I would like to get my driving permit, purchase some land, and prepare myself for the career changes ahead of me, within the Indigenous community. I am preparing to be able to make a contribution to the regrowth of our traditional ways and to help bring clean and potable water to Indigenous communities as far as my influence can reach. All of this, while raising a conscientious and bright young human.
Is there anyone you would like to thank for supporting you on this journey?
Jaclyne Edmondson has been instrumental in guiding and encouraging me every step of the way.
Is there anything else you would like to share with people about winning this award?
I am honored and delighted by this surprise. It shows me that I am on the right path and doing the things I need to do, in order to create the change I want to see. I encourage everyone to reach for the stars and be happy to land on the clouds instead. No matter your challenges or how much you question whether you are capable of doing something, it is always worth a try…and you may just impress yourself; I know I have….and if I can, so can you. Namaste.