Meet Whitlea Henry – a graduate of our Introduction to Land Based Tourism and Adventure Program!
After spending 11 years raising her children and being a stay-at-home Mom, Whitlea was starting to venture into the next chapter of her life. Once her youngest child was ready to start school, Whitlea took advantage and thought she would too. This is where she found herself looking at multiple different post-secondary websites searching for a program that fit her best. It wasn’t until she landed on the OSTTC website and the Introduction to Land Based Tourism and Adventure program caught her eye!
During the transition from being a stay-at-home mom to now a student in a full-time program, Whitlea loved the things it brought back in her life; the classroom setting, the structure and being around peers her own age. This created a new normal for Whitlea that she had been away from for 11 years! She notes that,
“even though I struggled a lot during the program with my mental health, the OSTTC building has a Wellness Room which helped out with my days when I couldn’t control my anxiety. I would go in there, meditate and come back out feeling 100%, so I was very thankful for that.”
From the hiking, kayaking, public speaking, excursions and everything this program offers in between, Whitlea felt like she had a whole new outlook on life!
“Everything during the program made me come out of my comfort zone, and I really needed to that grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally because now I feel like I can conquer anything.”
In reflection to what she enjoyed most, Whitlea mentions days where she would present to her classmates, “being uncomfortable presenting your project but laughing at the same time is a wonderful feeling of growth and courage.” She also mentions her days spent hiking and kayaking in the outdoors, “kayaking from Island to Island, the scenery, and just roughing it for 5 days without anyone but your friends and nature was a whole different feeling.”
When her program was in its final days, Whitlea knew she wanted to continue in the Land Based and Tourism field and find employment. From her program, Whitlea became certified in Wilderness First Aid Level C, Basic Sea Kayak Skills, AODA, Fall Protection Awareness, Leave No Trace, Workplace Violence and Harassment, Occupational Health and Safety for Workers, Excellence in Customer Service, Basic Canoe Skills and Paddle Smart.
With her certifications and knowledge she gained, Whitlea was offered employment as a Park Attendant at Chiefswood Park! She can be found helping with the fun activities they offer such as yoga, archery and sunrise paddles, maintaining the overall cleanliness of the park, greeting guests or working at their gift shop on site! Some other backend duties that Whitlea will be responsible for include maintaining the inventory, assisting in developing programming and helping with promotional events. In the future, Whitlea would love to continue to evolve her career by designing programming for Youth in our community that will help mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Whitlea acknowledges that her OSTTC instructors, mentors and classmates played a huge role in her success. She notes that, “I’m so thankful for each and every one of them. I don’t know if they know this, but they really helped me during my time in the Land Based Tourism and Adventure program.”
Whitlea’s advice to those that are interested in the Introduction to Land Based Tourism and Adventure program is that
“you are never too old to follow your dreams! The only thing that will hold you back is your mind, which is a very powerful element. Fill your mind with positive affirmations, instead of negative energy. Notice and acknowledge your fears, and then conquer them one by one. Then you will start to notice a change within yourself. You will feel stronger, and have a mindset that you can conquer anything! Which you can! Also being honest with yourself, and your teachers. If you are struggling, take a step back and recognize it, and then let your teachers know, because they are there to help you succeed! And last but not least, you never go around, over or under your barriers, you go right through them, and never look back at the rubble left behind, only look ahead!”
OSTTC is extremely proud of Whitlea and all that she has blossomed into. We are confident that Whitlea will do everything she has set out to accomplish. To learn more about our programming and what we offer, visit www.osttc.com.