For Cassandra, the decision to attend Seneca College was an easy one. Her mother, Norma Trivino an Office Systems Operations graduate and sister, Cynthia Estrada, a Graphic Design graduate, are both alumni of Seneca. Selecting a program was another obvious choice. Norma describes Cassandra as a nurturer and care giver who always had a love for children. A perfect candidate for Early Childhood Education (ECE).
Cassandra, 22, is a young professional with experience far beyond her years. During the seventh grade, she was volunteering at her elementary school and shadowing her older sister, the day camp counsellor. Her volunteer efforts have affected change as far as Ecuador where she helped paint an orphanage, served meals and assisted the children with their homework during a 2009 mission trip.
Her work has not gone without recognition. In 2007, Cassandra was nominated for the Ontario Junior Citizen Awards. In 2013, she was awarded the Community Compassion Award at the Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards in Ottawa. She also received a letter of acknolwedgement on behalf of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper for her community work. To date, she has received 23 congratulatory certificates and laudatory letters from several York Region Councillors.
“When I started volunteering with after school programs at a young age, I was introduced to my supervisor, who also became a motivator and mentor,” says Cassandra. “She is an ECE with incredible work ethic, which encouraged me to develop similar traits.”
Cassandra now works as an ECE at Childventures Early Learning Academy, providing a curriculum that is a combination of Montessori, High Scope and core knowledge to help children improve their reading, writing and math skills, and stimulating their overall development. She loved her Seneca program as much as she enjoys her rewarding career, doing something she is passionate about every day.
“No job is easy, but hard work and passion will get you through it,” says Cassandra. “Put yourself out there, volunteer, network, and great things will come your way.”