Lakeland experience motivates students to their fullest potential< More Stories
“I think I can say for the both of us that we feel we're making a big difference here. We want to be good role models for our kids and our communities, and show First Nations people that amazing things can happen when you step out of your comfort zone,” says Nighttraveler, who’s from Little Pine First Nation.
Both agree the idea of practicing the art of public speaking wasn’t attractive, but their appreciation for the extracurricular activities like Synergy Speakers’ Corner grew as their interpersonal skills did.
With growing confidence, their personalities and natural wit shone brightly in February at the annual Chamber Connect, a social networking opportunity for Lakeland business students to meet local professionals in Lloydminster.
“This event was a big stepping stone for us. The idea of talking to a crowd of strangers is daunting, and I don’t think we would have been as natural as we were without our instructors Ben (Acquaye) and Erin (Bandola). They have a way of giving us positive, constructive feedback. They played a big role and believed in us,” says Atcheynum.
Inspired by her Synergy Speakers’ Corner experience, Nighttraveler hopes to incorporate public speaking into a financial career after completing a bachelor of commerce or bachelor of management degree through Lakeland’s partnership with Athabasca University (AU).
For Atcheynum, who’s from Sweetgrass First Nation, her goal is also to complete a degree with AU to become a liaison for Indigenous communities and oil and gas companies. Her co-op placement with Husky Energy last summer and the work she completed organizing Indigenous outreach events with it inspired this direction.