TIFFANY DEL GUIDICE
“The strategist and councellor were my key to success by teaching me a new ways of learning and opening new doors to technology”
Current work and/or activities:
I presently work as a Personal Support Worker.
Education and institutions attended:
I returned to school in 2008, and completed the Wastewater Technician program. However, the one that I am most proud of is Personal Support Worker that I completed in 2015. Both programs were at Algonquin College in Ottawa.
If you think back to when you were a student in post-secondary education, what stands out for you about your experience?
What stands out the most for me was when I was introduced to the strategist, and my counsellor at the Centre for students with disabilities -both women were half my age!!! I said to myself what could these two kids teach me??? These two women were my key to success by teaching me a new ways of learning and opening new doors to technology. The rest of the team were a great influence on my learning strategies and this is what made a big difference in my schooling.
What role did your disability(s) play in your post-secondary educational experience?
In 2008, I was not aware of the technology that could help people with disabilities. It was like my disability was the main character and I had to learn to work with it and not against it. I felt shame and frustrated because I was not able to understand certain concepts in a math equation as an example. It would take me longer to understand it then most of the other students in class and I would have to make up cartoon characters in Math or Algebra to remember what they meant. Part of my disability is a having a short-term memory problem as I don’t have a memory. So, as a result, I would have my own language to remember certain scientific words. This would mean extra time doing homework and I would be jealous that I had to do it and my classmates did not.
What key learnings or insights have you taken from your post-secondary educational experience?
Key insights for me would be not standing behind my disability like a victim but more standing in front of it and taking control of it. Especially now that I have these technological tools which helps with my self-esteem and the ability to work at tasks on my own. Asking for help is very courageous, necessary and one should not feel shame about this.
How has attending post-secondary education impacted your life?
At 14 I was told that I would have to live with my parents or get married because there was no future for me. This is my third time in college I enjoy going to school I’m thirsty for knowledge now that I have the proper tools and that Algonquin College has been a safe place for me to get the help that I need.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see myself as having completed my fourth college certification in palliative care and a little business course. Definitely continuously learning is on the forefront of my mind.