Langara’s Aboriginal Transfer Program Provides Accessible Pathways to New Opportunities
Carving pathways and connections between her experiences seems to come naturally to Langara alum, Laura Beaudry. Utilising the UBC-Langara College Aboriginal Transfer Program, Laura, Métis-Cree originally from Grouard, Alberta, moved into third-year studies after leaving Langara. Laura participated in Langara's VOLT program, and found an opportunity to volunteer with Corrections Services Canada thanks to a career fair in the Criminal Justice department. Laura was awarded the Centennial Scholars Leaders Award, which offers comprehensive support to successful applicants who engage in community service. The award supports academically qualified students who would not otherwise be able to attend UBC without significant financial assistance.
While attending Langara, Laura was involved with both the VOLT Volunteer Program and helped revitalize the Langara Aboriginal Students Association (LASA). Laura was integral in organizing events for National Indigenous Peoples Day in 2016. This gave her an opportunity to build connections with the Elder in Residence and mutually support her fellow students, leaving her better prepared for student life on the Point Grey campus.
Laura learned about the UBC-Langara Aboriginal Transfer Partnership during one of UBC’s visits to the Langara campus. The partnership gives students access to awards and scholarships, personalized faculty and advisor guidance, along with personal and academic preparation that assists students in a smooth transition from Langara College to UBC’s Vancouver campus.
“I am really thankful for the Aboriginal Transfer Program. Getting to know admissions staff at UBC on a first-name basis was really helpful in facilitating my comfort level once I got there,” she said. Recognizing people on campus definitely made the campus feel more accessible, and from there Laura made more connections.
Now at UBC, Laura is a member of the CiTR 101.9 Student Executive, which makes station decisions and plans events. As Indigenous Liaison, she assists with a show, Unceded Airwaves, and coordinates support for projects, special programming, and other duties with the CiTR team. She plans to enroll in law school following completion of her undergrad degree. The connection between law and her major, Anthropology, might not seem apparent, but Laura explains it this way.
“I was referred to anthropology by a friend of mine and it turned out to be life-changing. Anthropology class is where I learned of the truths and motivations behind the processes of colonization, such as the Residential Schools, Indian Act, and other discriminatory laws that are still in place today that divide Indigenous peoples from the rest of society. The knowledge that I learned at Langara motivates me to become a lawyer and fight for Indigenous rights, human rights, and environmental law. We are at such a turning point in human history; real action is needed to protect our land, air, and water and I want to be a part of that fight.”