Posted on: March 14, 2017
This semester has been especially challenging for Marcus Scherer, not necessarily because of course load issues, but due to health woes of loved ones. Marcus admits that balancing these priorities has been difficult but considers it another valuable learning experience. The Natural Resource and Indigenous Studies major refers to the “exceptional growth” that has come from academic life. “I’ve changed a billion times over,” he said.
“University has been the best experience of my life—it has shaped who I am as a person. It’s not just a path to a secure job; it’s about self-exploration.”
The educational value of his studies goes far beyond his transcripts: “the more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know, and the world opens up to you more and more.”
Now an active participant in the Aboriginal Mentorship Program, Marcus applies the knowledge that others have shared with him. “Having role models is important to me, and now it’s about finding my way as a mentor and passing along the knowledge.”
While Marcus strives to listen, understand and problem solve, he acts as an impartial soundboard. “Sometimes we can work out our dilemmas by talking it out—it increases confidence to be able to participate in resolving your own issues.”
Marcus’ instinct is to advise and support others. “Being a mentor has given me the authority to increase my confidence; it is in this sanctioned role that I feel empowered to help.”
Though he will be completing his undergraduate studies next year, his learning process will continue. His eye is on a Masters in Natural Resource Science or Indigenous Law—“I want to understand the gears of the legal system to make the most change for my people.”
A regular at Cplul’kw’ten, Marcus said, “Cplul’kw’ten has been there for me since the beginning. I don’t know what I would do without that community spirit and sense of belonging.”
Vernie Clement, Aboriginal Mentor & Community Coordinator, spoke highly of Marcus’ enthusiasm and commitment to the Mentorship Program. “I was happy when he came on board as a mentor. I believe in the power of mentorship, as does Marcus. I see him going far.”
“We strive to make Cplul’kw’ten a home away from home, we want students to feel they have a place here, and it’s an honor and a blessing to hear that they do feel welcomed,” Vernie continued.
Marcus’ welcoming nature embodies the spirit of Cplul’kw’ten. “First Nations students have similar struggles. At Cplul’kw’ten, there are many people to lean on. There is strength in numbers. It’s about immediate trust and an immediate connection.”
Anyone that Marcus meets is sure to feel inspired by his zest for knowledge and love of learning. “University has taught me how to live and to step outside of my comfort zone. I’ve learned to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
For more information about Cplul’kw’ten
For more information on the Aboriginal Mentorship Program