College admissions season is well underway at Virtual High School as our students eagerly await their acceptance letters from their chosen programs. We’re always amazed by the fascinating programs that our students select each year, with fields ranging from sports marketing to fish and wildlife conservation to creative writing. We got the chance to check in with 2022 VHS graduate Cassenya Detmar this month to see how she’s doing in the paramedic program at Niagara College!

A lifelong resident of Brantford, Ontario, Cassenya was excited to receive her acceptance letter to a college that was so close to home last year. Cassenya and her two siblings had been homeschooled by their mother since kindergarten, so having the chance to remain near her close-knit family and community was an important factor in her decision. Although Cassenya loved being homeschooled, she realized that the college application process for homeschool students can be difficult:

“I decided to enrol in VHS to get the prerequisites needed for the college programs that I wanted to apply to. I loved being able to stay at home and remain a part of my homeschool group while earning credits and my OSSD. This made application to colleges much easier.”

While taking VHS courses in Grades 11 and 12, Cassenya uncovered her love of biology and human anatomy. Combined with her passion for first aid and a desire to help people, becoming a paramedic was a no-brainer! She even works as a part-time lifeguard at a YMCA pool to work on practicing both her swimming and first aid skills. Since she has completed her National Lifeguard certification, she’s able to work as a lifeguard all across Canada.

Having graduated from Virtual High School with her Ontario Secondary School Diploma and the Ontario Scholar Certificate in June of 2022, Cassenya knows a thing or two about how to succeed at online learning and offers these tips:

“My advice for new VHS students would be to ask your questions early. Rather than trying to struggle through it (sometimes for days), email your teacher. They are pretty good at explaining things. Also, wait for feedback on previous assignments before submitting the next ones. That way you can improve based on the comments.”

Now at Niagara College, Cassenya gets to put her own advice to good use because of the great paramedic program she chose. In addition to being close to home, Niagara College offered excellent faculty with instructors who are all working paramedics. The smaller class sizes ensure that Cassenya can get to know her instructors and have all of her questions answered. As part of her 2-year program, she is learning about anatomy, physiology, fitness, and professional communication skills among health care workers. She spends time in a lab each week to get practical experience with operating ambulance equipment so that she’ll be prepared for her career as a medical first responder in the near future.

If you haven’t already come to the conclusion that Cassenya is an all-star, take a peek at just some of her favourite activities:

  • Reading
  • Playing piano (She has completed level 8 with the Royal Conservatory of Music!)
  • Playing sports like soccer, volleyball, and flag football with her homeschool group
  • Painting
  • Making homemade jewelry
  • Sketching
  • Taking photos
  • Volunteering at her church and local food bank
  • Working at a Christian summer camp

With that level of work ethic and determination, we feel safer already knowing that Cassenya Detmar will soon be helping to keep Canadians healthy and protected. We can’t wait to see how much more she’ll accomplish in her professional career as a paramedic!

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