Student Success = Societal Success

Family Success

Individual success accomplishes much more than providing the individual with a sense of accomplishment. It evolves into family success, that improves quality of life and increases opportunities for relatives, spouses, and our children.

Click on the links below to read inspiring stories of how attaining  their educational and career goals impacted these student’s families.

Alexis Cinq-Mars

Alexis cinq-mars

E: [email protected]

Assiniboine Community College
Brandon, Manitoba Canada

Hello and Tawnshi readers,

My name is Alexis Cinq-Mars, I am a Metis woman, mother, student, and student advocate as the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and Indigenous Peer Mentor at Assiniboine Community College. As you can imagine, I run a pretty strict balancing act to maintain my time for family, school commitments, spirit, and self. I am currently studying the social service worker program and plan to keep going in women and gender studies. I have accomplished way more than I thought possible and have found a true love for academia and advocacy. I hope that this path continues to drive me to serve those who continue to be underrepresented. I want my children to feel belonging in this world as Indigenous youth and that they too can make an impact one day. In my dreams I am the future Prime Minister, realistically I am a fierce advocate for human rights with a strong inclination for Indigenous women.

During my time at the college, I hosted events that are important to me like the Indigenous Student Panel with Special Speaker Gerry Oleman: Indigeneity in Education, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Display for Two Consecutive Years, What You Need to Know About MMIW: Educational Webinar, Indigenous Disability Month Webinar: My Student Life With ADHD. I have learned so many added things on top of my education because of my participation in extracurricular activities. I learned how to make media releases, format letters to congress, avocation skills, leadership skill development, policy review, how to form and lead a committee and so much more. I encourage everyone who attends a post-secondary institution to get engaged and participate in some extra activities in your school. You will not only get to have an impact on others, but your own self growth will be incredibly rewarding.

“What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.”
-Pablo Picasso

Thank you/Merzi
Alexis Cinq-Mars

Family Success

Quill Family

zoe quill and family at graduation

E: [email protected]

Sapotaweyak Cree Nation
University of Manitoba Canada


In our family, we grew up under the struggles of poverty and impacts of intergenerational trauma. Despite the challenges we faced, our household always valued education. Our mother faced a lot of challenges trying to finish high school as she was struggling to raise three kids on her own. Ultimately, she chose to focus on motherhood, but she always instilled that there was a better path for us. 

Candi, April, and I have always carried this teaching. As we were close in age, it was easy to support one another. We often shared our struggles and worked together to find solutions. When one of us achieved an award or goal, it was a celebration for the family. It was evidence that we were overcoming our barriers. 

University felt like unknown territory since we had no one to look up to. It was even harder when we dealt with racism in each of our educational journeys and others made us doubt our worth. However, our love for learning always pushed us to overcome these obstacles and we remained driven to accomplish our goals. 

I was the first one to attend university and was able to have a successful first-year. It was a proud moment between the three of us. Candi was the second one to attend university and then the following year, April joined. We helped one another navigate through the challenges of being a university student and at the same time, strived to fulfill our potential individually. 

As the three of us are pursuing our degrees, we each have different paths. Candi is a major in psychology with hopes of pursuing a master’s in social work. April is a major in anthropology with an interest in law. I am majoring in genetics and plan on pursuing medicine. Despite our differences in goals, we share our strengths and push one another to break barriers. In the end, we always value the teaching our mother gave us and the support we have for one another as a family.

Family Success
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