People of Pearson: Jade

“My name is Jade and I’m a Fire Service Instructor with the Fire and Emergency Service Training Institute (FESTI) at Pearson. Prior to this role, I was working as a teacher, and I had spent a number of years searching for a path that I felt passionate about. I always had firefighting in the back of my mind but had temporarily convinced myself out of it. When I finally found the courage to pursue this dream, I came to FESTI to complete my firefighter training. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me in ways I could not have anticipated, and I loved every minute of it! 

“Once I completed my training, I continued with FESTI volunteering as a student mentor, helping support the day-to-day operations and student experience. Not long after, I was offered the role I have today. It was a quick transition from former student to full time instructor, but I cannot thank the team enough for welcoming me and giving me a chance. 

“A typical workday involves overseeing the preservice in-house program. Over the course of four months, it is my responsibility to ensure that all my students are taught the skills to perform the foundational firefighting duties. I, along with my team of very talented full-time and associate instructors, use our knowledge and experiences to deliver the best firefighting education possible.

“The most rewarding part of this career is to see the growth and development of my students. I watch them walk into FESTI on their first day with some nerves, unsure of what to expect, and then transforming into passionate, prospective firefighters. It's truly remarkable to watch my students break down these barriers they set for themselves and overcome challenge after challenge. The sense of pride I feel on graduation day watching each class march away with their diplomas is the reason I am so excited to come into work each day. 

“The best piece of advice I could give would be to never stop exploring your options until you land a career that feeds your soul. My family thought I was going to be a professional student because I was always after the next thing to learn, but then I found the thing that excited me to wake up every day! I was challenged on many occasions but trusted the process and overcame the obstacles I faced in my journey.”

- Jade, Fire Service Instructor with FESTI, Toronto Pearson

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