Abraham, Power Engineer, Fort St. John
Some might say it takes guts to uproot your family and embark on a new career path, but for Vancouver-turned-Fort St. John resident Safety Abraham, the decision to go back to school in the hopes of finding a better job was made easier by a BC Access Grant and the ability to find a seat in his field of study at Northern Lights College.
Abraham’s story is familiar: as a new immigrant to Canada with a degree in finance and banking, he struggled at first to support his family, working odd jobs to make ends meet. Rather than lose hope, Abraham realised his success depended not on his current skill set, but on developing the skills B.C. employers want. With this in mind, he decided to take advantage of the “friendly, welcoming” atmosphere Fort St. John offers by enrolling in the Power Engineering and Gas Processing program at NLC.
“I am optimistic that my certification will open limitless job opportunities for me not only in [the] Oil and Gas Industry, but as well in other sectors of the economy,” said Abraham. “…And hopefully I can be able to combine this designation with my business degree and transferrable skills that I brought to Canada to attain a management position.”
Abraham received a $16,400 non-repayable BC Access Grant to help fund his education —the full amount for eligible students. Grants are offered based on financial need, full-time status and enrollment in high-demand trades at specific institutions. Interested students can apply for the BC Access Grant online and use the trade seat finder to discover opportunities around the province.
While starting afresh can be daunting, Abraham said there has been a significant improvement in his family’s living conditions since moving to Fort St. John, “My kids are happy and everyone is feeling that freshness of a new start with a sense of belonging.” Abraham says his family feels more safe and secure than ever before. His enthusiasm for his new community and his studies shines through, and this opportunity has given him the chance to focus on what matters most—his future.
“By receiving these grants, I will now be able to focus more on my academics rather than my finances,”
said Abraham. “It is my sincere hope and aspiration that someday in the nearest future I can be able to give back to my community, the province of B.C. and Canada at large.”
Trade seat finder
BC Access Grant