The First Nations Role Model Program is a project by First Nations Education Initiative Inc and University of New Brunswick.
Alan Sabattis was a determined and hardworking student at University of New Brunswick. Finding influence from his mother and grandmother, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Bachelor of Education. He is now involved with the development of youth and encourages them to get their education, step out of their comfort zone, and to be confident in themselves.
Principal of Chief Harold Sappier Memorial Elementary School, located on reserve, Allison Brooks helps his students embrace their culture and aids in helping them meet their full potential. Holding three degrees including a Masters of Education, Allison sees himself as just 'setting a bar for those around him to pass' whether academically or athletically.
Andrea Paul is a Registered Nurse. In her 'close-knit' community, 'made up of many inspiring individuals,' Paul was raised knowing that to follow her dreams, she needed a post-secondary education and positivity. Andrea's mother is her best friend and role model. While Andrea was in university, her mother was studying to become a LPN; they were able to push and learn from each other.
Anita Boyle has had an admiration for education since she attended a one-room schoolhouse for grades 1-4. Boyle worked in the early 1980's as a Dental Therapist and went back to university ten years later where she earned her BA and B.Ed. Two years ago earned a Masters in Adult Education. Boyle believes that 'education is the key to living the type of life you want,' and advises young people to connect with those close to them when they are in need of support.
Growing up, Devin Ward was exposed to a wide spectrum of people; those who had successful careers, and those who had never left the reserve. His drive for accomplishment and to get an education came from seeing those who did not have the success he wanted. Ward earned his B.Sc. specializing in Microbiology from Dalhousie University, and is now a Biologist at North Shore Micmac District Council Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management.
At 15 years old, Dymond Stevens of Oromocto First Nation is already determined to get a post secondary education and make an impact on her community by becoming either a teacher or a veterinarian. To ensure that language and culture does not disappear, Stevens does her part by drumming with the community group. Aside from drumming, Stevens is also a piano and guitar player and plans on joining the school drama club and rugby team.
Dick Paul, of Kingsclear First Nation, has dedicated his life to being a counselor for youth. Having met so many people in his life that were willing to teach him First Nations ceremonies, language, and culture, Paul knew he wanted that knowledge to be passed on to the Youth through his methods of counseling. His father was a considerable impact on his life, constantly supporting the need for education and inspiring him to be proud of whom he is.
Lauren Ward, a physiotherapist, is a firm believer in optimism and hard work. The inspriation to earn her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Masters degree in Physiotherapy came from the people in her community, who taught her the importance of education and the value of knowledge. In her life, Ward has learned that goal setting is one of the most useful tools for success.
Gratified to be chosen as a role model from Pabineau First Nation, 26 year-old Michael Hennessey is an example of discipline. Already the recipient of a Bachelor in Business from the University of New Brunswick, he will return as a fulltime student to attain his M.Ed. in counseling. Growing up, Hennessey was unsure of the career path he wanted but now holds a job at JEDI as an Economic Development Officer.
Rebecca Brown is a 30 year-old mother of three and Education Assistant at Mah Sos School on Tobique First Nation. She was born and raised in Nebraska and moved back to Tobique with her family two years ago when her mather began Wabanaki, an organization uniting Maliseet women through events such as canoe racing, spirit doll making, and Elder lunches. When her mother passed away not long after the move, Rebecca and her sister carried on the events.
Tiffanie Labillois is 29 year-old First Nation Development Officer at L.E. Reinsborough Elementary School in Dalhousie, New Brunswick. She completed her BA majoring in Psychology and Native Studies at St. Thomas University and earned her Masters of Education in counseling Psychology at University of new Brunswick. Tiffanie's persistence is what makes her the role model that she is.
TJ Joseph is a 22 year-old student who is graduating from NBCC Miramichi in Police Foundations. After graduation, he plans on working at the Dorchester Penitentiary while going through the application process and pursuing a career in the RCMP. It has been his dream since he was young to become a police officer and give back to his community. Now that he is well on his way to achieving his dreams, he feels proud, accomplished and makes sure he is a great example for his family and friends around him.
Growing up, Tyler Patles of Eel Ground First Nation had a passion for math and science. As part of a small community and a school with limited class sizes, Patles found inspiration to consistently move forward in life from his older family members and teachers. Their support for his passion led him to graduate university with a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering. Patles feels that his life experiences can help him guide youth in the proper direction for their success.
Graduate, valedictorian, and recipient of the Governor General Academic Award, role model Dakota van Kijk from Woodstock First Nation is a determined and hardworking 17 year-old student. Attending the University of New Brunswick for sciences, his role models growing up were his parents who encouraged openness and did not push him in one direction.
Darcy Pirie is a 30 year-old teacher's assistant in the Kindergarten class at Mah Sos School on Tobique First Nation, a part-time student working on her second degree, and a single mother of a 7 year-old boy. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a BA in 2006 and worked several jobs before getting inspired to go back to school and learn her language. Preserving the Maliseet language is something that is important to Darcy and she is proud that she can give her son and the rest of her community the opportunity to learn their heritage.
Emily Peter-Paul is a 21 year-old student who completed her third year of Nursing at St. Francis Xavier University this year. Emily has been working at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in the day surgery unit as well as in palliative care learning from the experienced nurses. As such a social person, Emily learned about the many misconceptions young girls have about health issues and has decided to make proper education a priority when she becomes licensed.
Greg Francis is a 17 year-old student from Kingsclear First Nation who graduated from Fredericton High School this year and will be attending UNB in the fall to pursue his degree in the chemical engineering program. Greg is known as a role model to his classmates, teammates, and community. In his senior year he was awarded the student role model award as well as the most outstanding running back of his footballl team in his grade 8 and 12 years.
Joan Caplin is a 77 year-old Elder from Eel River Bar First Nation who remains very active in her community by supporting local sports teams and takes part in community activities. She loves being able to lend a helping hand to those around her in any way that she can. Joan is a mother of 5 children, over 20 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. She keeps very busy and loves to knit scarves for her family and friends as well as sell them within her community.
Taking part in sports since a young age, Martina plays on multiple volleyball teams throughout the year including Tommies Volleyball Club 16U, Team New Brunswick 17U along with her high school and community teams and holds the 2013 provincial title for Beach volleyball. Martina says 'Sports helped by keeping me busy, focused and helped me learn traits such as dedication, teamwork, sportiveness, and understanding.'
Ryan Dunbar is a 33 year-old Civil Engineer who grew up off reserve in Harvey, New Brunswick. He graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from UNB in 2003 and began his Masters of Science in engineering right away. While he was working on his Masters, Dillon Consulting had actively recruited him and he began to develop a close relationship with the housing director of Kingsclear who showed him the reserve from an engineers' perspective. Since then, Ryan has been working on behalf of Dillon Consulting on proposals and funding applications to help improve the water and waste water systems.