Written by Jessica Burke-Trebell, a Foundation ambassador and former young person in care.

Initially a seed is just a seed, but with the right TLC it grows into a flower. Before a flower buds it goes through many stages and phases. This is a completely accurate representation of my life. The key element is recognition of the bloom.

Jessica as a child, ready for karate lessons

For many years, I held onto insecurities, doubt and confusion and I stayed in that awkward stage just before the flower blooms. University really helped shape me, and I feel it’s where my flower began to truly flourish. A very simple yet thought-provoking proverb was once shared with me; “a healthy plant grows.” So simple, yet to me it was so profound. Since I figured that I “bloomed” in university I never really gave much thought to this afterwards. Hearing the proverb of the healthy plant made such a large impact on my life (I was also in Uganda when it was told to me).

Now I know that each season of life, whether dull or bright, I will continue to grow as long as I am a “healthy” plant. Experiences, whether positive or negative, are all factors in this beautifully amazing growth process.

Now, as I pursue my Master’s, my experiences are at a completely different level. Sometimes I ask myself why I am putting myself though this— other times when I am writing about something I am passionate about, I am reminded why I am in this course. My entire perspective and outlook on education has changed and my educational career goals have as well. While I would welcome the career of a teacher with open arms (as it’s so hard to come by), I know that I have a passion for universal primary education. Globally, there is an astronomical number of children who are denied access to education due to poverty, gender and religious reasons. Until all children have equality, I don’t think I will be able to just live a conventional 9-5 life in my Western side of the globe. There is so much more to this wondrous world than we allow ourselves to see. Having these sublime moments have helped me to have a positive outlook on the past, as well as an excitement for my future. I am always joyful for what’s yet to come— and accepting of my current situation.


About The Author

The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada funds programs to help Canada's most vulnerable children and youth, those who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, overcome the obstacles in life that prevent them from reaching their full potential. We are committed to giving ongoing support to those who need it most.

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