Each year the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation engages First Nation students in post-secondary education to participate in a work placement co-op. This year Sara-Lee Shonias is working in the OFNTSC’s Thunder Bay Service Centre. Shonias is currently studying Civil Engineering at Confederation College.
Here is what she had to say on giving back to her community “A while back, a group of youths including myself tried starting a youth council. We wanted to have stuff done at least once a week, whether it was playing sports, having a movie night or just a place to hangout. However, our band was short on funding and it was hard for us to do stuff without the right equipment. I plan to give back to the community by raising money so we can engage people, and starting this year and many more after that.”
On the most important issue facing First Nations People right now, “I believe that the most important issue is education. There is a low percentage of First Nations people that have graduated from high school or a post-secondary institution.”
Why Sara-Lee chose to co-op at the OFNTSC, “I like to help people from communities that need it. And that’s what the OFNTSC does. It helps communities. The services that are provided, help First Nation communities get started on what they need. Whether it is housing or a new water treatment plant.”
And what does Shonias hope to accomplish after her graduation? “I hope to further my education in a different department. I also would like to gain more experience in this type of environment at OFNTSC.”
The OFNTSC would like to congratulate Sara-Lee on her continued commitment to obtaining her post-secondary education.