As far back as Spencer can remember, he has had a passion for massage therapy.
“I used to massage my mom’s feet before bed, if any friend was injured in school I would massage them. It’s something I’ve always kind of been interested in.”
Throughout school, Spencer didn’t have the best grades, and wasn’t sure what path he was going to go down. “I had a friend in the massage therapy program at MaKami,” he says. “So when I was thinking about pursuing massage she recommended MaKami. I gave the school a call, took a tour and learned about the program, and I got really excited.”
Spencer said the school’s positive atmosphere was what motivated him to come to MaKami. “All the teachers, all the counsellors, everyone is tailored to every student’s success, that was an environment I hadn’t been in before, and I think it was what I really needed at the time. When I started the program I was broken. I was in debt from other degrees. I couldn’t pay for a bus pass let alone bills.”
But he says the supportive environment at MaKami changed all of that. “I was able to thrive and come to who I am because it fostered in me the hunger to learn.”
As a natural hands-on learner, Spencer always excelled in the practical classes and enjoyed it. “I was doing really well and loving it and that became one of the things that kept me going,” he says. “My passion was massage, so when everything else got hard and struggles were really up in my face, I was able to focus on practical, and just get lost in massage and the beauty of massage itself.”
Spencer says he was definitely struggling about half-way through the program, but found support through his fellow classmates and the Student Success Centre (SSC). “I knew others were struggling too but I saw them all pushing forward. I was also regularly going to the SSC, where they helped me improve my marks, and I connected with the faculty and got to learn their struggles from when they were younger than me. I was inspired because they had the ability to push through, so why couldn’t I?”
Spencer found that as he progressed through the program, other areas of his life improved as well. “I was able to use all the help from school to focus my energy into one thing which then made everything else kind of fall into line,” he says. “I had the ability to pay off bills and not be so broken. I started working for the college after my first year as the mascot, and in the second year I had ability to be paid for my practicum which is how I was able to build up money while still going to school, so I was able to get hands-on practical experience and help pay my bills, which was one of the most enticing aspects of the program for me.”
Today, Spencer works in a spa environment which he loves – and he’s grateful to MaKami for helping change the trajectory of his life.
“MaKami gave me the opportunity to improve my life which I didn’t think it was possible before that. They helped me get my life in order in so many ways, I know that I’ve grown in other ways outside school. I’m really looking forward to what the future has to bring.”