Born and raised in Alberta, Colinda has always had an interest in the human body and helping others, having worked with people with brain injuries and learning disabilities, as a teacher’s assistant, and even taking a massage therapy course about 30 years ago.
“I took a very basic course back then out of interest, and to be able to provide it for my family and friends,” Colinda says. “The training back then was much different than what is offered today, but I had a wonderful experience. It gave me that gentle approach to understanding what touch does. I didn’t go into it as a career back then, but it was always an interest of mine.”
As massage therapy training advanced, Colinda decided to pursue it professionally by enrolling in a massage therapy program in 2015.
“I had originally enrolled in a different school and enjoyed the course right away, but I needed more time in the classroom, and that particular school didn’t allow students to be in the classroom more than once a week,” she says. Colinda had heard about MaKami and decided to take a tour. “I felt really welcomed, and I appreciated all the different aspects of MaKami that helps a student be successful, like tutoring, counselling, help with housing and help throughout the funding process.”
So after a month, Colinda decided to leave her school and join MaKami.
“I loved the program, especially the availability of the teachers,” she says. “They were always willing to take time to help you outside of the classroom, and the tutoring was very accessible too – there was never a time where I felt like I was running around looking for answers.”
Colinda also met her future husband while taking the program. Together, the couple moved to Fort McMurray shortly after graduating where they both found plenty of work as massage therapists.
“There was no problem finding clients,” Colinda says. “They have many people that use massage therapy as much as they can for stress relief, injuries that kind of thing. There’s a lot of massage therapists up there, but there’s also a lot of clients there.”
For Colinda, massage therapy has not just become a new career for her – it has also become a stepping stone to a new career – nursing.
“Massage therapy is going to help boost my career and knowledge as I step into nursing as my next career path,” she says. “It will also help support me financially as I go through college and don’t require a huge student loan.”