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Transition Program Helps Alumna Find Her Path

Angel Ransom has built a successful business around helping First Nations communities plan for the future, yet her own career plan was not so straightforward. The Northern Advancement Program was life changing for Ransom. Not only did it ease the adjustment, it also opened Ransom’s eyes to the many possibilities that existed for her and set her up for an unexpected career.

August 23, 2017
Angel Ransom
The Northern Advancement Program helped launch Angel Ransom's career as a planner in Northern B.C.

Angel Ransom has built a successful business around helping First Nations communities plan for the future, yet her own career plan was not so straightforward.

Ransom, 31, grew up in Fort St. James and throughout high school had always planned to become a nurse. She began along that career path, but soon realized that not only was nursing not her calling, transitioning from life in a small community to a university in a bigger city was full of unexpected challenges.

“Everything was overwhelming from the minute I walked out the door in the morning to the minute I walked in the door at the end of the day,” she recalls of her year-and-a-half studying nursing at Thompson Rivers University.

Ransom returned home, feeling a bit defeated after her first attempt at post-secondary education. That is when Ransom learned about a program at the University of Northern British Columbia designed to help students from small, rural and Indigenous communities manage that transition to University life.

The Northern Advancement Program, as it was called at the time, was life changing for Ransom. Not only did it ease the adjustment, it also opened Ransom’s eyes to the many possibilities that existed for her and set her up for an unexpected career.

“If it was not for the Northern Advancement program, I don’t think it I would be where I am at today,” Ransom says. “I think this program is needed to catch the students who fall or feel they might fall.”

The Northern Advancement Program has evolved into the current UNBC Northern Transitions Program. Gifts to this designation will inspire the next generation of leaders from rural and Indigenous communities navigate the challenges of university and set the students up for future success.

In her first year at UNBC, Ransom took courses in a variety of different fields as she worked through the process of figuring out what would be best for her. She eventually settled on Environmental Planning, and has not looked back since.

She specialized in First Nations Planning and after working for the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, she eventually struck out on her own forming Angel Ransom Consulting. Currently, she works with a variety of First Nations communities across Northern B.C. to help them build capacity and work out future plans.

A successful entrepreneur, Ransom can trace her successful career back to one key turning point – when she came to UNBC for the Northern Advancement Program.

“The Northern Advancement Program provided me with this foundation in feeling I was not alone in not knowing what I was doing as I went from high school to university,” Ransom said.

“I met other people from small towns who were going to the bigger city and dealing with the same changes.”

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