Byron Jackson (BA ’10) doesn’t have to be told to smile for a photograph.
The beaming U of L graduate (Kinesiology and Native American Studies) celebrated his achievement at the recent Spring Convocation ceremonies with a big group of family and friends, and looks forward to starting his career with the benefit of preparation through the U of L’s First Nations Transition Program (FNTP).
Jackson returned to school as an adult and after spending time in the workforce, where he realized that progress in a job meant educational progress as well.
“I was a former teacher assistant at the Piikani Nation Secondary School, and all of my co-workers and friends were teachers and had an education. I thought I would go back to school, not only to help myself but my people and society in general,” says Jackson. “The FNTP program helped me get back into the rhythm of school again.”
As a support to First Nations, Metis and Inuit students during their transitional year at University, the FNTP gave Jackson some additional resources. He was introduced to better study skills, a library science course and referrals to internal or external learning resources.
Among other jobs, Jackson worked for his father’s bus transportation business, and is now self-employed with a vehicle of his own. He never lost sight of his desire to finish University, especially since he had others in his family who had completed their studies at the U of L.
“One of the other major reasons for going back to school was my mother Sheena, who is also a U of L grad (BA/BEd ’95). I thought it would be fitting that I go to the U of L to follow in her footsteps.”
As to what’s next, Jackson says he now feels he has many options.
“I plan to gain experience outside my community and perhaps work on a master’s degree. Overall, I want to help my people.”
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