Maple Ridge resident is Douglas College valedictorian

Azzaria Bramer has always dreamed of having a career where she would help people stand up for themselves.

The Maple Ridge resident is one step closer to that after graduating as valedictorian of her class at Douglas College with a diploma in Youth Justice this month.

“I am shocked,” she says. “Being valedictorian never even crossed my mind, and to be chosen as the representative for our class is truly an honour.”

Her instructors are not surprised. They describe Bramer as a thoughtful and creative student who fostered a positive learning environment both at the college and on practicum.

“She applied herself to her studies diligently and earned excellent grades,” says Doug Estergaard, co-coordinator of the Youth Justice Program. “She also applied herself to creating strong relationships with her peers and her instructors, and earned their respect and trust.”

The road to graduation wasn’t always easy. Bramer says during her first semester she came out of an exam crying because it had not gone as well as she’d hoped.

“I became completely overwhelmed and had to get past my fear of taking exams. I knew that I had to calm myself and remember that there are far worse things that could happen.”

Now two years older and wiser, Bramer has some salient advice for new students entering her field of study.

“Be open to learning and growing. If you do this, you will learn so much and become a better person and worker in the field. You have to have faith in yourself – this will enable you to get through anything that comes your way.”