Hitting the Reset Button: How FNUniv Helped One Student Get a Fresh Start

Rebecca Sangwais

Rebecca Sangwais had a few close calls before finally obtaining her diploma in 2013.

“I fell through the cracks, by not going to class and I started not reading my stuff,” she says.

She failed her economics class twice, accounting class once, and is pretty certain that she received a “mercy pass” after redoing her statistics class.

She almost got kicked out of school for a whole year.

“I got put on academic probation, kicked out of business, and put into arts,” says Rebecca.

“I had my fair share of failures coming to university, I was letting myself down and that’s not the person I am.”

But with the help of her academic advisor and after writing a letter to the faculty of business, Rebecca managed to get re-admitted and receive a Bachelor of Administration and Human Resources Management degree.

“They gave me a lot of exposure going into business, they gave me a lot of opportunities to go and network,” says Rebecca. “I feel like I established myself really well here in the city, that I know a lot of business people in the aboriginal community.”

Rebecca is proud that her degree is from the First Nations University of Canada. She appreciates the encouragement she received to be proud of being Aboriginal, saying it helped her gain a sense of identity.

“I’m really thankful for the First Nations University,” says Rebecca. “Because I don’t think that I would have established that network without them.”

Rebecca remembers walking out of her last final, saying ‘Oh my gosh! I’m done!’ and how it felt so surreal. She was attempting to have a private moment to shed a few happy tears in the comfort of her own vehicle, but there was someone parked right beside her.

“I just drove away and when I saw my boyfriend I just started bawling!” says Rebecca.

But who wouldn’t? After having overcome so many hurdles, Rebecca is an excellent example of the people who graduate from FNUniv. And, she gives other First Nations students hope for success on their academic journeys.

by Raven Sage Brass