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Bow Valley College graduates help our communities

Over the last two years, Fatima Macavinta has gone to work each day knowing that she makes a real difference. As the Nursing Coordinator for the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Fatima helps vulnerable Calgarians every day to ensure that everyone can find their way home.

“At the Drop-In Centre, we prioritize being a low-barrier emergency shelter that is run with a trauma-informed lens, so that we can meet people where they are at,” Fatima says of her valuable work with the unhoused population in our city. “I believe that every human being has the right to have a home and have a dignified life.”

Throughout the pandemic, Fatima’s work intensified as COVID-19 brought challenges to the unhoused population, including limited options for treatment, isolation, and recovery. 

“Vulnerable Calgarians often do not have a home where they can isolate,” Fatima shares. “They also lack support systems and someone to help take care of them when they are sick, both physically and emotionally.” 

Fatima and her colleagues at the DI created programs to support their clients during the pandemic and partnered with different agencies to strengthen their efforts to support people through these challenging times.

“My time at Bow Valley College gave me tools and prepared me to be successful. It gave me basic life skills to survive, adapt, and persevere,” Fatima shares about her time as a student at Bow Valley College. As a newcomer to Canada, Fatima felt lost in a new city and country, working a physically demanding job to make ends meet. Fatima knew she needed a change, and kept seeing Bow Valley College posters during her commute. Bow Valley College’s diverse and supportive environment made Fatima feel comfortable to apply and to begin to change her life.

“Bow Valley College taught me the importance of diversity,” Fatima notes. “My time there helped me embrace the rawness of my existence and pushed me and my abilities, which allowed me to gain confidence and help me find myself again – who I am, what I can do, and what I want to do.”

Fatima is proud of her time at Bow Valley College and of the work she does at the DI. And we are proud of her too! Our graduates are the pillars of our community and continue to make a tremendous impact all over our city. 

“We need to redefine challenges to instead see them as opportunities,” Fatima shares, when asked what advice she would give to current students. “Any new skill is painstaking, but with an open heart and hard work, life will take you to a place more than you imagined.”

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