Wider Horizons

One of the first things you should know about Greg Matt and Kevin Boys is this: during the voting periodGreg Matt and Kevin Boys of Lethbridge College’s Extreme Makeover contest last spring, each regularly voted for himself…and then each also took the time to vote for the other, because each thought the other had a great story and reason to win.

Another thing you should know about these two is this: despite their differences (Greg is 36 and lives with his wife and small son in Lethbridge, while Kevin is 18 and moving away from his home in Clinton, B.C., for the first time), they both are eager to start on an educational journey that each thought was only a dream.

The two winners of the college’s first ever contest that provides them with two years of tuition and books, as well as accommodations in residence for both years, took some time this summer to talk about how the contest has changed their lives, and what they are looking forward to doing once classes start this fall.

Greg and Kevin will be blogging, posting videos and chronicling their experiences at Lethbridge College these next two years. To keep up with their latest news and see the videos that brought in thousands of votes, go to lethbridgecollege.ca/extreme-career-makeover.

 

Greg Matt:

What’s the biggest change that’s happened since you learned you won Lethbridge College’s Extreme Career Makeover?

I would have to say the new sense of both pride and responsibility I now have.

What do you want to make sure you have before classes start?

I am excited about the Powerline Technician Course the college offers but being 36, I’m not in the shape I’d like to be for how physical this job can be. I want to get in shape and be prepared to succeed.

What does your wife think of your shift to being a student?

My wife is super excited and supportive of my new career path – I really don’t know if I could do it without her.

Is there anything about starting college that makes you nervous?

The last time I was in school I only had to worry about myself and a part-time job. Now I have a wife who is recovering from a debilitating disease and a two-year-old waiting at home for me. It’s a little pressure, but they make it so worth it for me.

What did your family and friends say after they learned you won the contest?

My friends and family have been amazing. They have offered to help balance my home life and school work, and they have also given advice to what they are doing in their fields of work and how college can help with that.

Do you have any interesting stories about some of the people who were voting for you?

From my wife’s aunt and uncle driving to all the free wi-fi spots in their small town to get as many votes as possible to my brother-in-law’s work internationally, it’s mind-boggling to see all of these people who care so much about my family and me.

 

Kevin Boys:

What’s the biggest change that’s happened since you learned you won Lethbridge College’s Extreme Career Makeover?

I think the biggest change is that people in my town know me now – when I’m walking down the street, everyone says hi and everyone talks to me about the contest.

What three items are you making sure you have before classes start?

A cell phone is on top of my priority list. I also want to get my truck fixed so I can bring it to Alberta. And I guess I’ll need a backpack – I heard that for the first years in environmental science there are a lot of field trips and so I want a really nice backpack.

How are your parents doing with the thought of you leaving home?

They’re okay with it – they’re excited for me. I think they’re a little bit nervous too. Mom and Dad have been talking about it nonstop.

What are you most looking forward to doing once you arrive on campus?

I can’t wait to socialize. I want to meet my roommates in the 30th Avenue residence and to make new friends and get to know everybody there.

Is there anything about starting college that makes you nervous? What?

Since I won the scholarship, it’s taken 100 per cent of my stress away. I’m really excited to go and I’m not nervous about anything.

What did your family and friends say after they learned you won the contest?

My teacher Karen said the whole school was piled into one classroom and watched the whole thing live – and when they announced my name, it was just an explosion. I guess everyone fired up out of their seats – hugging and high fiving. It really hit home – it was really special.

Do you have any interesting stories about some of the people who were voting for you?

People were voting all over the world, which is pretty cool. But the best story is that when they announced that I won and I ran up to the stage, Greg took my hand and said “I’m so glad because I was voting for you” and I said “I was voting for you too.”

Wider Horizons
Lisa Kozleski
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