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The best of both worlds
Rankin students have fun, visit post-secondary schools

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Seven potential Grade 12 graduates from Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik in Rankin Inlet took part in the school's annual grad trip earlier this month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Potential Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik high school graduates Emily Okalik, left, and Rhonda Aliyak of Rankin Inlet are ready for a little zip-lining during the MUI grad trip - photo courtesy of Karen Ancher

The journey allows the potential grads to explore post-secondary opportunities at a number of schools and kick back from the rigors of a tough school year with a little well-earned rest and relaxation.

Making the trip were students Evelyn Autut, Jassen Ugjuk, Emily Okalik, Reuben Aliyak, Rhonda Aliyak, Donovan Gordon-Tootoo and James Kappi.

The students were chaperoned by Karen Ancher and Bill Colbourne.

The just-for-fun stops included the Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, a Blue Jays game, the Parliament buildings and a meeting with Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, paintball, the National Art Theatre, the Canadian War Museum, zip-lining and an NHL playoff game between Montreal and Ottawa.

On the academic front, the students visited Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS), Carleton University, Algonquin College and Red River College.

Ancher said the whirlwind stop in Toronto happened because the students did such a great job fundraising.

She said Red River College in Winnipeg was one school to made a big impression on the students.

"Most of the students gravitated toward Red River College, but a number of them were definitely interested in NS also, which is the case every year," said Ancher.

"But the Winnipeg college has trades programs and the students had a really great tour of the school.

"It's nice and close to home for them and, due to the large Inuit community, there's a lot of support.

"That support network helps the students transition into school and a large southern community, where's there a lot more things to think about."

Gordon-Tootoo said he had a lot of fun on the trip.

He said the NHL game and zip-lining were the two recreational highlights for him.

"The Canadiens game was awesome because of the energy in the building for a playoff game, and I like the rush of zip-lining and having fun outdoors," said Gordon-Tootoo.

"Algonquin College and NS are both pretty nice schools.

"I liked the teachers and the people at NS.

"I would tell next year's grads to start saving and get as many of their friends as they can for a pretty good trip."

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