Catching Up with Sydonne Bryan (BSW/20)

“Be someone who makes someone else look forward to tomorrow.” – Unknown.

As she approaches her four-year anniversary in Winnipeg on August 24, Sydonne Bryan sees this quote on her office wall every day and has made it the guiding principle she lives by.

Sydonne had been teaching in Japan for six years and was ready for a new adventure. With one degree under her belt and experience in Jamaica working in Social Services, Sydonne knew she wanted to get her next degree in Social Work.

While she was accepted into Social Work programs across Canada, Sydonne knew Booth University College was the standout program for her. Her Christian background and desire to become a leader in Social Services, combined with Booth UC’s affordable program and all Manitoba had to offer, made Winnipeg her next destination. 

Sydonne was proved correct in her decision as Booth UC was a welcoming family that gave her all the supports she needed. “I liked the small campus, the class sizes, and the fact that all my professors knew my name.” Her first degree had been at a large institution where she was just one of many. At Booth UC, her professors were approachable, and she could meet with them one on one.

While a full-time student, Sydonne also worked part-time with The Salvation Army at the Booth Centre as a Case Worker assisting people experiencing homelessness find housing and those living with addictions find the right programs. “At graduation, I was sure I was going to continue my service in these areas. But God had another plan!” God’s will was that Sydonne work with the elderly. Sydonne found her “calling that she never saw coming and her passion” at the Poseidon Care Centre and now works at the Fred Douglas Lodge.

Working during the COVID-19 pandemic in one of the hardest-hit demographics in our society, the isolated elderly in a long-term-care facility, she saw the worst that the pandemic could inflict. Reflecting on this experience, she knows the skills she learned at Booth UC, including self-care and how to provide the needed level of empathy, enabled her to use what she learned in her practice and navigate this extremely distressing time.

For Sydonne, as an international student, “Booth UC was God’s grace and blessing.” Booth UC gave her a family while earning her BSW degree and helped support her needs through student and financial aid programs.


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