Cello Lukey ’17 explains how Quest helped her pursue a career in midwifery. 

What was your question?

“How do people become parents?”

What path have you been on since graduation? How do you like the career you chose (midwifery)?

After graduating from Quest, I continued into the Midwifery Education Program (MEP) at Ryerson University. Throughout my degree, I was driven to pursue this career and tailored my question to prepare me for a health science profession. After so many years of dreaming about this program, it feels surreal to be living it.

How did your experience at Quest help prepare you for your path?

My years at Quest provided me with a maturity, both academically and socially, that has proven integral to my current path. The intimacy of the Quest community was a gift, in that my learning did not stop when I left the classroom. I was encouraged to collaborate on assignments, so our entire class could succeed. The high level of engagement I saw in my peers encouraged my own enthusiasm for digging into the uncomfortable aspects of my learning.

Are there any specific things about Quest that you thought were especially useful?

The biggest gift of studying at Quest was the proximity to the land. Right from the start, I felt encouraged to build a relationship with the surrounding forest, rivers and mountains. Now that I have moved to a city, I am able to recognize how invaluable this relationship continues to be for my health and education.

Upon applying to the MEP, the Quest alumni network became a great resource. During my final year at Quest, I was put in touch with an alum who was enrolled in a midwifery program like I was hoping to be. I received more dedicated counseling and friendship from this graduate than I would have ever expected. I sincerely believe this support in my admissions process to the MEP made my acceptance a reality.

Any life lessons learned at Quest?

The interdisciplinary approach of liberal arts, specifically, has been a strength for my current pursuits. In midwifery, we are encouraged to hold multiple perspectives to provide client-centred care. Quest challenged me to confront my strongly held beliefs and hold tension between my personal values and the value held by others. I gained an understanding of different disciplines, which has offered me lenses through which I can better listen to what my colleagues or clients are sharing with me.

Additionally, the self-determination that was expected at Quest fostered my deep belief that people deserve the right to make their own life decisions. Treating my education as something I was responsible for, rather than a path that was handed to me, taught me to be a better advocate. In midwifery, this means that I value informed-choice care, so clients may participate in shaping their care plan. And I believe in advocating for their decisions to change cultural habits around pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. I feel confident in taking a radical approach to my practice while holding a deep respect for the people around me.

Is there any moment or growing experience at Quest, academic or non-academic, that still stands out to you?

Over the four years I was at Quest, I witnessed a lot of powerful growth in my peers. Because our community is so small, the space seems saturated with friendship, love, conflict, stress, illness… the list goes on. What continues to stand out for me about my Quest experience, is how much I cared. A year later, I am appreciating how much I still care for the stories we made. It certainly sets a high bar for the expectations I hold when I join new community.

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