Amee Patel’s family moved to Brandon from India six years ago in search of a better life.
Among the list of reasons the family chose to leave the place they formerly called home was to provide a better education for their daughter Amee.
"Education played a huge part," Patel said. "My parents wanted me to do something nice in my career.
"It’s way easier on us here than it is for students in India."
Yesterday, Patel’s family and friends cheered as Amee and 213 other high school students graduated from Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School inside the Keystone Centre’s Westman Place.
Dressed in Crocus’ signature colours — a maroon coloured cap and gown with a sash of gold around her neck — Patel said she was excited for what her future holds after graduation.
Along with receiving her health-care aide certificate, Patel was also presented with this year’s nursing award, which is fitting for what she plans to study at Brandon University this fall.
"I don’t think I would be able to study nursing in India," Patel said. "I just like helping people."
Patel added Crocus’s health-care aide program was a "great way" to kick start her nursing career.
"Right here I get more job openings, I have a bigger scope of doing what I want to do, so that’s a main part ... way more opportunities."
Fellow graduate and valedictorian Cole Kovatch described this year’s group of graduates as both "dedicated" and "committed."
"It’s a great honour to represent the student body," Kovatch said. "It’s a large school, but the teachers they definitely care enough ... they make the time to help you one-on-one."
A message Kovatch said he hoped his graduating class would take away from his valedictory address was the importance of friendship.
"One of the key roles as we’re going through high school is definitely friendship and having friends to help us get through hard times ... and classes," he said. "And definitely the teachers helped us, too."
» Twitter: @LindseyEnns