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February 28, 2019

Personal and professional goals make the difference

“I don’t want to be intrusive,” says Mélodie Tremblay. “They know I’m available and I never want to add to their pressure.”

Mélodie is a trainer and counsellor for the Housing Manager Program in Québec. Employed by the Centre Régional d’éducation des adultes Kitci Amik, she helps students navigate their personal and professional goals.

There are currently 11 First Nation housing professionals enrolled in the online program. The students are gaining knowledge and skills to manage housing projects and programs in their communities. They are also developing key communication skills to help put their training into practice.

This is the program’s third cohort. The last one graduated in November 2018.

Mélodie recalls a previous student who found it difficult to prioritize her studies. She worked hard but found it challenging to balance her studies with a busy family life.

“She soon realized that she had a very personal goal, and that changed everything,” says Mélodie. “She wanted to receive her diploma before her daughter received her high school diploma. She achieved that goal last November.”

Stories like this are the source of Mélodie’s inspiration.

“To see these students academically succeed, sometimes after a year of struggling, is something beautiful to see and be a part of,” she explains.

Fanny is a member of the newest cohort. She is a single mother of a 3-year-old daughter and lives and works at Regroupement Mamit Innuat, in Sept-Iles, Québec. She is originally from the isolated community of Unamen-Shipu.

“I have worked in housing for close to two years,” says Fanny. “And I have seen first-hand the effect of poor living conditions. If you live in an overpopulated or un-kept home, you are not inspired to go to school, to go to work or improve your life in any way,” she says. “It is a vicious circle.”

Inspired by what she is learning in the Housing Manager Program, Fanny hopes to put some structure around these issues. She would like to use her skills and knowledge in the Sept-Iles community, and then move on, better equipped, to the one where she grew up.

‘’I have so many ideas,” she says. “Once I complete this program, I hope to make a change. When you improve the quality of housing, you improve quality of life.”

This Housing Manager Program for First Nations Communities in Québec is managed by the Conseil scolaire des Premières Nations en éducation des adultes and financed by CMHC and Indigenous Services Canada. It is in partnership with Cegep Garneau and Centre Régional d’éducation des adultes Kitci Amik.