The graduating class of the Academy of Learning Career College (AOLCC) in Calgary, along with families, AOLCC staff and instructors, and distinguished guests, gathered to celebrate on October 25th at the Glenmore Inn and Convention Centre. Elmer and Audrey Brattberg attended to honour the graduates and Audrey began the evening with a congratulatory welcome. MLA for Calgary-South East, Matt Jones was also in attendance and gave a speech in celebration of the grads and their accomplishments.

AOLCC was founded in 1987 and now has programs in Accounting, Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, Office Administration, and more. It has been preparing students for careers for more than 30 years and throughout the night graduates expressed gratitude for the supportive staff and flexible schedules.

Valedictorians Tell Their Stories

Brandy Elson, Community Service with Addictions program graduate and Valedictorian of the Calgary Northeast Campus, gave a speech in which she talked about wanting to set a good example for her children. She described her decision to start a program at AOLCC by saying “I jumped in, head first, 40 years old, single mom of two.” Earlier in the night, she said her favourite part of her program was “the supportive staff and the amazing instructors.”

Valedictorian of the Calgary South Campus, Rachel Reiss, who graduated from the Business Administration Program, also gave a moving speech with supportive words for her peers from the other career college programs. “You took that leap and you succeeded,” Reiss continued, “you climbed your Everest. You persevered and you pushed yourself to the limits and have come out better for it. No one can take your success from you.”

There Are Many Career Colleges in Alberta, but AOLCC “feels like home”

As graduates entered the dining hall and found their dining tables, they took a moment to say what was special about AOLCC. One graduate, from the Education Assistant program highlighted the supportive staff and said, “it felt like home.” In fact, the staff were lauded many times throughout the night and got a warm round of applause. They are one of the reasons our career colleges in Calgary are such a success.

Graduates, families and staff have a night to celebrate each other
Graduates, families and staff have a night to celebrate each other

Graduates also highlighted how flexible the programs were and Darcy Turning Robe, a graduate of the Community Service Worker program, added even more praise for the school. In his speech he talked about previously being a mechanic and facing discrimination then said “I give props to Academy of Learning. A lot of respect.”

In memory of Patrick Duffy, a student who recently passed away, Cressida Molyneaux spoke. She described the warm presence, fatherly encouragement, and positive energy Patrick offered to his classmates on campus.

More Notable Graduation Moments

Mayor Naheed Nenshi sent a video in which he expressed his excitement and said, “I’m proud of you for taking the time to invest in yourselves, to invest in your families, which is ultimately an investment in our community.”

Later in the night, Nicole Crawford, from Calgary South and graduate of the Community Service with Addictions Worker program, spoke. She talked about working on her assignments at her dining room table. Her children offered her support and she said, “I knew I was showing them something valuable,” with all of her hard work.

AOLCC has career colleges in Alberta all over the province and these programs give all kinds of students a chance to excel with hands-on career training, self-paced learning and help with job placement.

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