Carolyn Blaine

2021 International Women's Day Nominee - Carolyn Blaine

Give a brief bio about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I was born and raised on a farm in Sinclair Manitoba, attending Elementary and High School in Reston. I am the youngest of three, born to Heather & the late Glen Walker, I have an older brother and sister. I am the single mom of three beautiful daughters, Kenzie, Haley & Madison, I have four nephews, two nieces and I am a Great Aunt to two nephews and one niece and another on the way! I adore my family and love every minute I get to spend with them. Our spare time is spent in the rink as all three girls play hockey, and ball diamonds in the summer. We are blessed to get to spend our summers at the lake with our family and friends.

What education have you taken?

I graduated from Reston Collegiate Institute in 1991, Minot State University, in 1997 with a
Bachelor of Social Work Degree and in 2021 I graduated from Brandon University with a Master in Education, Administration Stream.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am most proud of myself for furthering my education as a mature student, a dream I have always had, but was afraid to take the chance.

I am proud of my work as a social worker in the Brandon School Division and the work that I have done working with and advocating for students and their families.

I am proud of starting my own private practice in the fall of 2020,

I am proud of my work in understanding the importance of trauma informed practices in working with students, families and community systems.

Most importantly, I am proud of who I am as a mom, raising three amazing daughters.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I began my career in child welfare where I was very passionate in helping and supporting the families I worked with. After 10 years in child welfare, I applied for a social work position in the Brandon School Division and have been there for the past 12 years. It was through my work as a social worker in the education system, where I found my passion for leadership thus my reason for changing directions enrolling in the Masters in Education Administration Stream.

What is your philosophy in life?

My philosophy in life is to always treat everyone who crosses my path personally or professionally how I would want myself or my family to be treated.
Always be kind, caring and compassionate and find the strengths in every situation.
Honesty is the best policy even when the message is hard.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

That’s a really great question! I know for certain I am a lifelong learner, I may not be done furthering my education, just yet. I will always be passionate about social justice issues and women’s issues.

In one sentence, what do you #ChooseToChallenge?

I #ChooseToChallenge our community’s understanding of trauma.

Nominators Comments:

I have nominated Carolyn for this award alongside classmates Katherine MacFarlane and Raven Willoughby. This group of women were enrolled in my Summative Seminar course in the Fall of 2020. I admired the way they supported each other in the completion of their master’s degrees, how they supported other students, and how caring and supportive they were towards the university and for me. They are an amazing group. As I listened to their stories about the changes that they had made in their school and how they were approaching the important work that they do with at-risk learners, I admired the community spirit that they worked to develop. One at a time, each in their own way, they shared their stories about the work that they do in the school. Each of them re-confirmed how much their work was part of the whole and how they could only do it because they were part of this amazing team. As each of them completed their final presentation (and with it, the requirements for the master’s degree), they celebrated the accomplishments of the other two by showing up with party preparations, cards, balloons, and gifts at the door, even though we were all socially isolated and connecting through Zoom. This authentic support for the important initiatives that they lead in their schools and for the real people who are their colleagues is worthy of recognition. They are making a difference for students and families that experience marginalization within our community.