"I moved to Canada by myself eight years ago as a foreign worker. It was kind of a scary thing ― I had just turned 20 and didn’t really know what I was doing. It was mostly to help my family out financially. They are doing better now, so that’s good.
I am from the Philippines. When I moved here I saw there was so many opportunities. A lot of people take it for granted, but Canada is an awesome place to live. And for me, I mean, my family is still back home, but I didn’t want to go back there ― it’s so different. It’s so much harder to find a job. Even if I had a university degree, there was no security. It’s a lot more difficult to get a job than here. Back home, there’s no EI, there’s no healthcare. If you don’t have a job, you don’t have anything. So if you get sick, you don’t have a doctor.
It took me forever to get my permanent residency. And then in 2013, I got it. And I knew the first thing I wanted to do was go back to school. So I was looking into all of the post-secondary schools and then I found SAIT, and I thought, ‘This is interesting and it’s not your typical post-secondary.’
After I got into the Business Administration Diploma program, it kind of all connected for me. While I was working at the SAITSA Student Support Centre, I met people from Enactus SAIT … Now I am the President of Enactus SAIT and we’ve raised about $28,000 to run our projects.
From being a scared, foreign worker, I didn’t think I’d have the courage to do all the things I would do. I didn’t think I could help open SAITSA’s Student Support Centre or stand in front of 100 people and be a leader of a club. I didn’t know I could stand in front of a graduating class as the valedictorian and try to inspire them. It’s just surprising how little I thought of myself and how my journey helped me find how great I could be if I just stepped out of my comfort zone and tried new things.”
Dianne Templeton, Current student, BBA | BA ’16 | Spring 2016 SAIT Valedictorian| President, Enactus SAIT | Supervisor, SAITSA Student Support Centre
Editor’s note: As SAIT enters its centennial year, SAIT’s School of Business is also celebrating 50 years of success.