Heading in a New Direction
Chandelle Mackenzie has a passion for helping people change their lives. The long-time personal trainer loved being able to lead people to a healthier lifestyle through fitness, and now she’s not just helping people change their lives, but in many cases saving their lives, too. Mackenzie recently graduated from Academy of Learning Career College with a Community Service and Addictions Worker program diploma.
“I landed at an amazing place, and I’ve had this mentor to learn from and have learned so much about this area and career path I’ve chosen,” said Mackenzie. She loved her career as a personal trainer, but as a single mother of two daughters, Mackenzie found the job didn’t mesh well with family life and needed to make a change. “As a personal trainer, my hours weren’t working for me, so that’s why I decided to take a different route and try a different career path,” said Mackenzie.
Returning To School
Chandelle embraced the challenge of taking on a new career path. It’s never easy returning to school after over two decades away from the classroom, but Mackenzie earned honours in the program. “When I started college, I was super nervous walking in, but my teacher Cheryl was amazing,” said Mackenzie. “All of the facility members were awesome. I felt so much at home, even though I was out of school for over 20 years.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, Chandelle and all of the AOLCC students were faced with finishing the program through online learning. While it posed some challenges, Mackenzie persevered through it all. “It was a little bit of a struggle at first, mostly because I had my two daughters at home. The three of us going to school at the same time, was an interesting learning curve,” smiled Mackenzie.
An Amazing Experience
Chandelle loved her experience at AOLCC, and her advice to any future AOLCC students is to enjoy the ride and embrace the experience. “Life is going to throw you all kinds of roadblocks and loopholes, and you just got to go with the flow and make the most of it,” said Mackenzie.
“It’s going to get frustrating sometimes, but many of us graduates have made it through this year. You can make it through anything. For all you new students coming in, dig those heels in. It’s an amazing college. Everyone has been so supportive of me this entire time and I’m super proud of myself to do as well as I did in this program. I feel like I’ve learned so much.”