College Gallery

Passion for the North

Posted on Mar 16, 2018

Photo: Christine Kaip

For communities like Peace River, educational opportunities can change people’s lives in very meaningful ways. In Northern Lakes College’s Social Work Diploma program, students learn to work with different cultures and learn how to recognize and deal with oppression. Graduates are active in their own communities and bring their knowledge and passion forward to help change the lives of others.

Christine Kaip, a Northern Lakes College Alumni who completed the Social Work Diploma in 2015 says, “I have been very fortunate in my career in Social Services. I had an impeccable mentorship that allowed me to learn and grow in this field. One of my mentors stressed the importance of self-reflection when it comes to working with vulnerable clients. It supported my belief that social work is not what you do but who you are. I believe it is part of my responsibility to contribute to a healthy community.”

Kaip is married and a mother of two who enjoys the outdoors. She says, “My husband and I like to travel and spend time camping in our holiday trailer.” She has lived in the north her entire life and is dedicated to continue working in the Peace River region. “I believe it is my responsibility to contribute to a healthy community which is why I volunteer with Victim Services as a victim’s advocate and also volunteer in the community as needed,” she said.

The University of Calgary selected the NLC Peace River Campus to deliver the Bachelor of Social Work degree for the 2014-15 and 2016-17 program years. Kaip, who graduated from this program in July 2017 says, “Northern Lakes College and the University of Calgary do an exceptional job in providing educational services to the Peace River area. I was able to pursue my educational goal and continue my career in my own community. I am forever grateful that Northern Lakes College enabled me to
improve my skills and knowledge while I live and work in the North.”

Kaip is an excellent example of a lifelong learner, “My goal for the future is to complete a Master of Social Work through the University of Calgary. This will ensure that I engage in continuous learning to work effectively alongside the communities I work with.” When asked about what she would say to a future student, her response was, “If you are considering doing a diploma or BSW Program in the North, readjust your expectations of a classroom environment. Northern Lakes College’s Diploma Program is through virtual learning, and the responsibility is on you to be a mature student. The
benefits, however, are that you will be able to pursue education in your own community where you will gain perspective of northern and rural practice.”