Mother of two Helen MacDonald knows a thing or two about balancing acts. At CBU, Helen not only excels in her role as Assistant to Registrar and Director of Enrolment Services but has also been taking full-time classes in the Bachelor of Arts Community Studies Program.
When Helen began her career at CBU in 2014, she was encouraged by her supervisors to work on earning a degree. “It was scary to think of myself going to University. When I was in high school I was convinced that I was not university material and would never be able to get a degree,” she says. “But I trusted my supervisors and their belief in me.” This weekend, Helen will celebrate not only Mother’s Day with her sons Keanan and Cullen but also her graduation, proving to herself and others what she is truly capable of.
Like many who pursue an education while raising children, Helen’s journey was not always an easy one. Taking classes during lunch breaks and relying on family members to watch her sons while she completed assignments was tough at times, but Helen says her support system helped her through. “Everyone at CBU has been so accommodating over the years and my husband Scott has been my shoulder to cry on when I felt overwhelmed and wanted to quit,” says Helen. “Keanan and Cullen have been so supportive and understanding for their ages and I’ve always had friends who would lend an ear and offer positive feedback.”
Helen says taking advantage of the academic supports offered at CBU and relying on family and friends to support her along the way has helped her to accomplish the goal of obtaining a university degree. This Mother’s Day, Helen wants other moms to believe in themselves and be unafraid to take on new experiences. “You CAN do it,” she says. “It’s a balancing act but you can make it work.”
Helen says this journey has only furthered her desire to encourage her boys to pursue their own dreams. At only nine, Keanan already has aspirations of taking business and engineering at CBU. “Looking back to think that at 40 I’m a wife and a mother of two boys who just earned a university degree while working for my wonderful employer CBU, makes me smile,” says Helen. And although she is thrilled to achieve this goal, now that her schoolwork has come to an end, Helen says she misses the craziness of it all already.
Happy Mother’s Day to Helen and all the wonderful Mothers and Mother-figures in the CBU Community.