Published on May 01, 2018
Christina Russell, 47, will graduate Thursday from Interior Design Technology; daughter Harley will get a Business degree later this year.
EDMONTON – Christina Russell has her daughters to thank for sparking her interest in returning to school.
The Edmonton esthetician, who runs a home business, will cross the stage Thursday with a diploma in ;Interior Design Technology. She chose the program after helping her daughters Harley, 23, and Maggie, 20, explore post-secondary programs.
Harley, who is studying accounting, would have graduated this month with her mom had she not worked in a co-op placement for one semester. She’ll graduate in December instead with a Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting. “It would have been awesome to have us in our gowns in the same month, but it worked out for the best,” she says. Her co-op placement led to a full-time job starting in January.
Mother and daughter carpooled to and from school, and occasionally had lunch together when their schedules allowed. Often they’d study in the same fourth-floor study area of the Centre for Applied Technology, each at a table with her own group of ‘school friends’.
“I’m super proud of her. I know how important education is to her, and I know she’s always wanted to do more, but financially they couldn’t afford it when we were little,” says Harley.
Christina says she had challenges to overcome as a mature student. “I learned how humbling it is to be in a class with 20-year-olds who are catching on faster and are better on the computer,” she says. “I wanted to set a good example for my girls. I had never got a diploma or degree, so this is a cool experience to be able to share with them.” Daughter Maggie hopes to take NAIT’s Baking program next year.
Christina is also thankful for the Belcourt Brosseau Métis awards, which helped both women fund their educations. She’s proud of her family’s Metis heritage, and is involved in the local Metis community.
NAIT's 2018 Convocation will be held on Thursday, May 3 (3 p.m.), Friday, May 4 (8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) and Saturday, May 6 (8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) at The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave. More than 8,000 students will graduate this year.
Christina and Harley are available for media interviews prior to convocation. Christina will cross the stage at the Thursday afternoon ceremony. Both her daughters will be on hand to watch.
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.