I was born/grew up in: Bay St. George, Newfoundland
I now live in: Flat Bay, Newfoundland
What I do at work
I council individuals and groups on Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. I use chemistry, biology and Math very regularly. The equipment I use is not very high tech: bathroom scales, cloth measuring tape, pen, paper, a laptop and last but not least, running shoes. Obesity and chronic disease is the problem I engage in. I make decisions everyday based on STEM skills. I work independently at this time and offer services in French and English. I am working towards fluency in the Mi'kmaw language.
My career path is
When I was in high school I had hoped to be a medical doctor. I went to university and applied to the program but did not get accepted. I went on to complete two Bachelor’s Degrees (Organic Chem and Human Nutrition). When I completed the Organic Chemistry degree I worked at different jobs but nothing that was really satisfying. A friend of mine opened my eyes to Dietetics and it seemed like a great fit with my love of running and sports in general. So I started to look at becoming a dietitian.
A registered dietitian is a regulated health profession that requires a four-year Bachelor’s Degree, a one-year internship, and successful completion of a National Certification Exam. So, almost 17 years after I completed my degree in Organic Chemistry, I went back to complete one in Human Nutrition (I don’t believe you are ever too old to start again.)
After this I had to find a place to intern as this is part of the requirements for registration. I didn’t get into an internship the first two times I applied but on my third try I was accepted to complete a pilot project internship at St. Francis Xavier University. In this Indigenous focused internship I worked in a number of small Indigenous communities from Nova Scotia to Labrador. My area of concentration was incorporating Indigenous languages into community, food service and clinical aspects of Dietetics. It was a great experience and now I’m now practicing privately with weight management clients. I do both in person and online programs and do healthy eating presentations at community events and in school nutrition presentations.
I am motivated by
When my clients stick to the plan we have developed long enough to FEEL and SEE the difference, I am very happy. I have always been a "gym rat" so translating that into a valuable profession is satisfying.
How I affect peoples’ lives
The work I do as a dietitian is very important to the community. The obesity epidemic affects First Nations disproportionately and leads to many other health problems. I love helping people become more active and cooking at home!
Outside of work I
I run A LOT! I have completed the Boston Marathon and Ironman Newfoundland. I teach Mi'kmaw Language basics and I am a volunteer Fire Fighter.
My advice to others
Learn to cook and embrace hard physical work (like walking or biking everywhere and gardening).
I am Indigenous
I am a Newfoundland Mi’kmaq person.