She had to repeat Grade 12 English three times, juggled a part-time job that kept her busy until 10:30 p.m. and had multiple mental breakdowns along the way, but Madeline Sammurtok will be graduating from Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik this summer.
“My closest people around me encouraged me to keep going, so I did,” said the 20-year-old Rankin Inlet student, who was thankful for her parents’ support in her journey to finish school.
“I didn’t want to upset anyone for it. My grandparents were always there for me throughout my school year. They always reminded me to go to school and finish.”
Sammurtok has been working at the Quickstop for nearly six years on top of school to help pay for her daily needs and help her parents. Her manager made time for her to catch up in class, and her teacher and principal supported her with all the help she needed.
She stayed in the guidance room every day from 8:30 a.m. until 4 or 5 p.m. trying to catch up on her English, always asking for help and trying to get over the hurdle.
“If it weren’t for my family, friends, teacher and principal, I wouldn’t have finished school,” said Sammurtok.
Now, she’s over the moon to have received the news she would be graduating this summer. She plans to take a year to work before deciding her future.
“I want to see more things and experience more of what others do in school and what they became. I don’t want to just work, but to further my education.”
For anyone else going through challenges to finish school, she suggests keeping focused on the goal and reaching out for support.
“It can sometimes be challenging to go to school for some,” said Sammurtok. “But they have all their people around them to always talk. A little talk can change everything. Just be humbled up and get that diploma. Walk on that stage and see people happy and smiling!”
She says all the work is worth it in the end.