Over the years, Michelle Rolston's focus was always on supporting her family. Now, twenty-two years after her first stint at Seneca, the mother of three and ardent learner is finally getting the chance to spread her own wings.
"If anyone were to ask, where should I go? The first place I would say is Seneca because I've had a great experience. It's just a very easy learning environment."
I first came to Seneca College when I was 18. I wanted to be a police officer, and in some ways I still have a passion for that. Because of personal circumstances, however, I didn't do well and I failed my exams. So then I went on to work for 16 years in the healthcare field. I worked in an office, and probably stayed 14 years too long. I've always been the kind of person that wants more. And so I worked my way up as far as I could go in that job. But my education wouldn't allow me to go any further. I think that's part of the reason I was laid off.
In the meantime, I had had three kids. And my focus has always been to get them to college and university. For me, everything has been about my family. For a year and a half after being laid off, I drove a school bus, which was only 4 hours a day. It wasn't enough to even put food on the table. It was just that little buffer to keep us going. And finally I had to ask myself, what about me? I don't want to do this for the rest of my life. I had just turned 40, so my gift to myself last year was to go back to college.
I'm in my second year of the Behavioural Sciences program at Seneca. I guess you could say this program chose me. I've always been interested in working with kids with autism, kids with special needs. And in this program I'm learning about behavioural principles, working one-on-one with children. When I'm in class, people don't view me as an older student. They view me as an equal, which I find so fascinating. It's such an easy learning environment. And each person that I've met through Seneca has given me that courage and desire to continue learning more.
We all take different paths in life. Though my passion was policing, I am learning the path I thought I wanted to follow has changed, and I'm on a different path now. I'm really excited about where it will lead me.
"Going back to Seneca has really fed my hunger and determination and that drive to keep going. It makes me just want to keep learning more."
Peivand went from clinical research to classrooms at Seneca.