They’re Lethbridge College’s own sister act: the Savage sisters, Amanda, Stephanie, Samantha, and Jamie all attended the college, and all came away with very different experiences.
“My parents got married when they were 20, and had Amanda less than a year later, so post-secondary education was not their top priority,” says Stephanie. “My dad eventually completed his journeyman Automotive ticket and my mom worked as a dental assistant, but neither had the opportunity to get a diploma or degree. The fact that all four of us had the opportunity to attend post-secondary – and share an alma matter – is pretty incredible.”
After a knee injury ended her collegiate wrestling career at the University of Alberta, eldest sister Amanda returned to southern Alberta to complete one year of the General Studies program, before acquiring her dental assisting designation. After working in the dental field for nearly 10 years, she married Aaron Bonertz (Automotive Apprenticeship 2004) and now helps out at his shop, Black and White Mechanix, while raising their three children.
Stephanie came to the Digital Communications and Media program as a mature student after working in the restaurant industry and pursuing a career in music.
“I spent years travelling, singing, and trying to chase my dreams before coming to the college – but nothing ever felt like it was the right fit,” says Stephanie. “When I started my program here, it felt like everything clicked into place.”
After graduating in 2018, she came back to work at the college as a student recruiter before moving into her current role as the Alumni Engagement Coordinator in 2019. The third, Sam, came to the college for the Nursing Education of Southwestern Alberta (NESA ) program. Partway through her program, Sam suffered a stroke that nearly derailed her education, but she recovered and is now an operating room nurse at the Vermillion hospital.
“My favourite thing about my job is how fast-paced it is,” she explains. “I like having to think on my feet and take each moment as it comes at me.”
The youngest sister, Jamie, came to the Child and Youth Care program after one of her sisters encouraged her to apply while Jamie was studying at university. One vivid memory Jamie has of her time at the college was a camping trip she went on with her classmates.
“We did team building and group activities,” Jamie recalls. “We wrote letters to ourselves that we got on our final seminar day, the day before graduation. We also got letters from other CYC graduates. It was amazing to read those and know that we had a support system that extended well beyond just our class.” She graduated in 2019 and now works at the Taber Child Care Centre Society as a preschool teacher. “Whether it was one, two or four years we spent at the college, we are proud Kodiaks,” says Stephanie. “No matter where life takes us from here, we all know our time at LC helped us become the people we are today, and if you ask our mom, we’re all pretty cool.”