My CBU Story: Jacqueline Reyes

Sometimes our path in life comes with added twists and turns, and soon-to-be CBU graduate, Jacqueline Reyes, knows exactly how that feels. Originally from the Philippines, Jacqueline graduated with a degree in Pharmacy in 1998. Though she had dreams of continuing her studies beyond this degree, she decided to put her plans aside while working in the Pharmacy industry and raising her three children with her husband, Michael. 

Recently, after feeling things in her life had settled down a little, Jacqueline felt further education calling to her yet again. “I felt that eagerness to pursue my dream again and I thought, why not?” she says. “When everything in my life was in a good place, I told my husband I wanted to study again, and he supported me all the way.”

During her research, Jacqueline discovered Cape Breton University and was excited to learn more about the island university that piqued her interest. “As a mature student, I was specifically looking for a supportive learning environment,” Jacqueline says. “CBU’s small class sizes and focus on faculty-student interaction really appealed to me. I knew I’d get the individual attention I needed to thrive.”

While Jacqueline was eager to take the leap, becoming a student at CBU would also mean relocating her family to a new country. It was important to find a community that allowed her to follow her dreams while also offering a safe and peaceful lifestyle for her family. “CBU’s location in Sydney offered the perfect combination,” Jacqueline says. “The close-knit campus fosters a sense of community, while the surrounding island boasts breathtaking natural beauty. From the moment I saw Cape Breton’s pristine landscapes, I knew it was the place for us.”

This May, Jacqueline will be graduating with her Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management. During her time at CBU, Jacqueline says she appreciated the opportunities to connect with her peers. “My classmates and I were really able to take advantage of the smaller class sizes. They allowed us to get to know each other well and we ended up being like a small family,” she says. “I embraced the diversity and culture that surrounded me, which deepened my understanding of true equality.”

During her time at CBU, Jacqueline was given the unique opportunity to take part in an interview committee for future OHS instructors. “I was chosen to be the student representative on an interview committee for aspiring instructors in the OHS Management program,” she begins. “I was humbled and impressed to think that CBU includes students in such critical decision-making, giving us a voice in shaping the University’s future.”

Jacqueline says her biggest support system was her family. She says they are her rock, and the reason she is here today. She is grateful for the time and space they gave her to study, the chores they took over and their unwavering belief in her. 

Though Jacqueline will miss seeing the dear friends she made at CBU, she is looking forward to her bright future. She has already completed an internship with the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, and is considering taking French language lessons and volunteer work throughout the province to truly get the full Canadian experience. 

As she heads toward graduation day, Jacqueline says she is confident in recommending CBU to other aspiring students. “CBU is a safe place to study and you will be supported every step of the way,” she says. “This journey has been incredibly rewarding. CBU has provided me not just with knowledge, but with a welcoming community that values international students. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be part of it and I can’t wait to join the ranks of proud CBU Alumni!” 

Congratulations to Jacqueline and the entire Spring graduating class of 2024!