By Minal Abhange
Rising above personal challenges, Jamie Brake has been an inspiration to those who know him.
“One of the fundamental values my family constantly taught was the importance of giving back to the community, which is a big part of my life today,” says Jamie, who grew up on Bird Island, just southwest of Port aux Basques.
The College of the North Atlantic (CNA) graduate currently lives in Meadows, outside of Corner Brook, and since 1999, he has held several roles in various government departments.
“One of my proudest accomplishments was receiving the Civil Engineering Technology Diploma from College of the North Atlantic,” Jamie recalls.
From there he pursued a Bachelor of Technology Degree at Memorial University, followed by a Certificate in Post-Secondary Education, and most recently a Bachelor of Education (Post-Secondary).
Now, his career has come full circle, as he is currently an instructor of Civil Engineering Technology at CNA’s Corner Brook campus.
“I have been working as an instructor for five years now and it has just been an amazing journey. My goal while engaging in community events at the college, or within the community, is to improve the overall morale of my team (colleagues and community members) and motivate them to help support initiatives.”
It is obvious to those around him that his passion carries over to his students. Jamie knows first-hand the experiences of being both a student and a teacher.
“Life has come a full circle for me in many ways. I was destined to do some things (mentoring, coaching and teaching), and I am proud to receive the amazing support I have from my community, peers and colleagues. It feels great to come back to where I started as a student and sharing all the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years with my students.”
Jamie is actively involved in his home community, as the Town of Meadows’ mayor, along with being involved in several recreation activities.
“I moved to Meadows about 10 years ago, and our current population is 649 people living together in a community which thrives on a strong volunteer base, with many volunteers and volunteer groups willing to serve to improve the quality of life in the town for its residents. Activities range from organized social and recreational clubs; improving recreational facilities events; and, the very important task of serving on our fire department making our community a safer place to live,” he says.
As a volunteer, Jamie puts in countless hours within the community and his hard work was recently recognized as he received the Newfoundland Association of Public Employees (NAPE) Step up Award. This award recognizes and applauds the efforts of NAPE/NUPGE (National Union of Public and General Employees) members who give freely of themselves to improve the lives of those around them.
“A former colleague nominated me for the award and it was a nice surprise indeed.”
Jamie offers one piece of advice for current students: energy and perseverance can conquer all things.
“As a Civil Engineering Technologist, there are enormous career opportunities – estimating, surveying, AutoCAD design and structural steel design.”
He credits his many successes and work ethic to the tremendous support he received at CNA from peers, instructors and colleagues. All have constantly motivated him in several ways, he says, and he feels fortunate to be in a position to give back to the community.
To find out more about the Civil Engineering Technology, visit www.cna.nl.ca