The Power of Perseverance

She’s a first-year student in the Educational Assistant program at Red Deer College. In her spare time, she competes in archery and also enjoys a variety of musical pursuits. Until recently, she was a horseback rider who competed in barrel racing and other speed events in high school rodeos.

And she has cerebral palsy.

Shayna McGregor’s unique perspective and powerful life experiences have shaped who she is, and she looks forward to using these strengths to help the students she’ll work with throughout her career. “I came to RDC because I wanted to work with kids, and I figured that becoming an Educational Assistant would be a good way to help me do that,” she says. “I really want to bring a positive attitude and my experiences to help my students develop and to show them that anything is possible.”

This mindset is the hallmark of Shayna’s life. While her cerebral palsy is minor, she has had surgeries to help her condition, and she describes how perseverance has played a big role in her life during these times. Throughout it all, her determination remains constant. “I adapt really well, so if I’m given any challenge, I’ll find a way to do it.”

As a recent high school graduate, one of the things Shayna has had to adapt to is living away from home for the first time. She is from Compeer, in east central Alberta, and when it came time to choose her post-secondary route, “RDC was my top choice,” she explains. “My grandparents live in Red Deer, and my sister graduated from here, so it seemed like a natural fit.”

With close family members nearby and her classes in place, Shayna started a new adventure when she moved into residence at RDC. “I got to meet my roommates just before I moved in,” she explains. “Moving away from home has its ups and downs, but I’ve had a lot of really good experiences, and my roommates are great.”

Shayna has also met new friends in her Educational Assistant classes, and her instructors have been a positive part of her experience. “My instructors are really concerned with how their students are doing,” she says. “It really helps to have someone to go to when you have questions.”

As Shayna looks forward to her first practicum experience, she’s excited to work with the students in her Grade 2 class. “I think I can have a different perspective than some of my classmates – being from a small town and having cerebral palsy,” she says. “I can bring my experiences to help the kids I work with.”  

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