When Paige Cox graduated from high school she began considering options for post-secondary schools close to her home in North Sydney. She knew what she wanted from a university: a close-knit campus where she could receive the help and support she needed for her learning disabilities. That’s why Paige enrolled in CBU’s three-year Bachelor of Arts Community Studies Program before eventually returning for a fourth year where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in communication and minor in psychology. Paige recently graduated in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, something any student should be proud of.
When she started her studies, Paige knew she would need to overcome her learning disabilities in reading and writing, but says it was worth it to pursue a discipline she loved. Luckily, she didn’t have to face this challenge alone thanks to the resources and support offered by the Jennifer Keeping Centre for Accessible Learning (JKC). “Whether it was offering note-taking services or reading comprehension programs, the team at the JKC helped find solutions to any problems I faced,” she explains. “That’s what my whole degree was about, looking at the challenge at hand and figuring out how to make it less of a barrier.” Paige says in addition to the JKC staff, the Communications faculty at CBU went above and beyond to support her, especially when she needed to adapt to online learning in 2020.
Reflecting on her time at CBU, Paige says the Jennifer Keeping Centre was the setting for some of her best memories. “It’s such an amazing environment and I always felt I had a seat at the table there,” Paige explains. “I laughed, cried and met friends there and it will always be my favourite part of CBU.” After her own positive experiences with the JKC, Paige worked at the Centre for two years, helping students in similar situations to hers. “I will never forget the way the staff gave me a chance to learn and grow on their team,” she says. “In my opinion, the Jennifer Keeping Centre offers not only educational support and inclusion, but a place to be yourself without judgement.”
As a proud member of the CBU Alumni family, Paige says her time at CBU has prepared her for the next steps in her journey, no matter where they take her. “My time at CBU taught me to be a strong, independent woman and to advocate for myself,” Paige says. “The most important lesson I learned was instilled in me by a group of my favourite CBU professors and staff who taught me how to believe in myself.” This summer, Paige is working with CBU Chaplain, Father Doug MacDonald and says she hopes her future will include working with youth and inspiring others to build their confidence as well.
For those considering coming to CBU, Paige says it’s definitely worth going for. “You get to attend a beautiful campus every day with fantastic staff while living on an amazing island,” she says. “If I could press the rewind button and experience the past five years at CBU all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.”