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Some of the most helpful information someone can receive is directly from another person. Conestoga has many students and each student has their own story. Having the chance to read or share a story can be the most helpful, constructive, and life changing experience.

“Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.” — Robert McKee

Note: If you would like to share a testimonial about your experience at Conestoga please contact Laura Black, Student Life Programmer.

Taylon Leduc
Practical Nursing Student
Mature Student

Taylon Leduc

I am a returning student to Conestoga College and a fairly new resident in the last few years to the Kitchener-Waterloo area. When I moved to this city and started attending Conestoga, I was scared and unsure of what to expect as I came from a small town where being gay was not something that was widely accepted at all. I had just newly come out as a lesbian and I was still trying to adapt to the new me and was scared of what lay ahead for me. But from the moment I moved to the city and started school here I instantly felt this enormous feeling of acceptance and support. Even more amazing was the feeling of community that I noticed from the get-go.

Now here I am back again at Conestoga and I am in my last year of Nursing. I was less scared this time around when I started September 2011 because I knew what to expect and in the years that I have lived here I have made many friends, acquaintances and allies in the gay, straight and tri-Pride community and have had the pleasure of being involved in many wonderful events and activities. But, with this being said, nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming feeling of warmth and inclusion that I felt when I started my new program. I have had such a wonderful and amazing experience so far that I cannot even put it into words. I have made many amazing friendships both gay and straight and have had wonderful experiences with faculty and staff alike that are open-minded and accepting and have never rolled their eyes or given me the cold shoulder for my sexual orientation and for being gay. As a result, these relationships that I have formed will forever have a lasting impression on my life and have helped me to become the proud, strong woman I am today.

I never thought years ago that being a lesbian could be so embraced and tolerated. I am able to walk down the halls with a smile on my face and my head held high because I am proud to be who I am. Being part of such dynamic, diverse and welcoming college community will truly shape a wonderful college life experience for anyone of any background, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. I strongly encourage any new student coming to Conestoga to really get involved, whether it's with the Respect Campaign or other avenues. You really do get back what you put into an experience tenfold, so make your time here exactly what you want it to be.

So if you see me walking down the hall, please feel free to smile or stop and say hello. It's always nice to know a friendly face. Welcome to Conestoga!

Jessie Caplan
Practical Nursing Student

Jessie Caplan

I am currently enrolled in year two of the Registered Practical Nursing Program here at Conestoga College. I came back to college as a mature student two years ago. Previously I had attended another college in which the environment was completely different. Needless to say it didn’t leave me excited to be returning to school. However, in my orientation into this school I could see that being a part of the Conestoga community was going to be different; a much more positive, inviting community. After my first day I could not wait to begin my new educational endeavours within this school.

My first year at Conestoga College, I was a part of the GLTBQ community; as a straight ally. It wasn’t until my second year that I had come to realize certain aspects of myself and who I was. With this said, the atmosphere at Conestoga did not change for me. Everyone from students to faculty to support staff has been unbelievably kind and helpful towards me; first as a straight student and now a gay student. Nothing has changed with the way that I am treated, and how accepted I am in anything that I decide to do within the school. When a teacher found out that one of my classes would be interfering with the GLTBQ welcome night, she shifted what I had to do that day for class so that I could attend; not only that, she approached me to tell me how proud she was of me for becoming involved in the event.

A couple of things about Conestoga College that I know for sure going into my third year; the environment is friendly and inviting, the faculty and support staff would do anything for you to be the best that you can be while here, and you learn more than just what is being taught in the classroom if you become involved.

Conestoga College has many ways for you to volunteer and become involved. You will notice posters all around our school with every race, gender, age, variety of people and truly there is a place for everyone; maybe even multiple places. I am a proud first generation, mature, lesbian student of Conestoga College and feel right at home!

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