Emily Coombes standing in a sunflower field and holding a golden retriever.

Lifecycle Superstar – Emily Coombes

April 10, 2024

What is a Lifecycle Superstar? Pinnguaq’s work is based on our Lifecycle model, with our learners in the middle. As they learn and grow, they can leverage education, assets and opportunities that help them realize success. One person may start as a learner, then work with us, gaining STEAM education experience. Another could receive an internship through Pinnguaq, benefit from our digital skills training, and then work with us to offer specific education. It’s non-linear, and it’s different for everyone, but the result is that we’re there at multiple key points in our learners lives to help people grow and achieve, and we grow and succeed along with them. They’re our LifeCycle Superstars – we’re excited to share their stories. 

Emily joined Pinnguaq as a placement student, and was hired shortly after as a Digital Skills Educator. She graduated from Fleming College with a diploma in Early Childhood Education and an Eco-Mentorship certificate in 2017, from Trent with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English Literature in 2019, and from Nipissing University with a Bachelor of Education in the Junior and Intermediate stream in 2023. She has also completed a 1 year apprenticeship in Youth Ministry through the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.

How did you first connect with Pinnguaq?

As a requirement for Nipissing’s B. Ed program I needed to complete a non-classroom placement, referred to as the Community Leadership Experience. A friend of mine was working in the Pinnguaq Education department, so I reached out to them to see if there were any opportunities available. Originally I looked at joining the Education team, but wanted a more hands-on role so I gravitated toward the Delivery Team. I was able to complete all 60 hours of my placement virtually, as there were no in-person programs being offered at the time, and I loved it so much that I asked if I could help out with March Break Camp, and then I pretty much never left.

What has been your favorite experience at Pinnguaq?

One single favourite moment is really hard to pinpoint, because I have loved every minute of being involved with Pinnguaq. Traveling to Iqaluit to help with their On the Land Camp was an amazing experience! I truly enjoyed spending time with the children enrolled in the camp, especially when we went to Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, and I encouraged them to teach me as much about their land and ecosystem as they could. Another memorable experience was attending Indspire’s National Gathering for Indigenous Education in Montreal. Not only was I able to attend numerous workshops, but I was able to strengthen relationships with my team members who have become my friends.